CPM keen to put Congress in the dock over AKG Centre attack

Drunken brawl: Jayarajan refuses to concede he had lied. In turn, Satheesan calls him a drunk
E P Jayarajan and V D Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram: The attack on AKG Centre has taken the already turbulent political atmosphere in Kerala to an explosive situation.

Soon after the incident, the CPM asked its cadres to exercise restraint, in an apparent move not to further vitiate the already charged political atmosphere. But the party cadres did not heed the advice in toto.

The question, of who was behind the attack on the party state headquarters, especially when the CPM has been heading the government, still remains unanswered.

CPM wants to see Congress in the dock, and LDF convener E P Jayarajan's initial assertion was that the major opposition party was responsible for the attack. The CPM or the LDF, however, did not toe the Jayarajan line. Instead, the CPM secretariat preferred to blame the anti-Pinarayi government right-wing forces for the incident.

Incidentally, a media release Jayarajan issued on behalf of the LDF, too, did not blame Congress. The LDF has decided to respond only after finding the culprit.

Congress stand

Congress, on the other hand, sought to know whether it would dig its own grave by launching an attack on the CPM office, especially when it has been trying to corner the government within and outside the legislative assembly.

Though the Congress leaders had not publicly condemned the protest against the chief minister on board a Kannur-Thiruvananthapuram flight, they were of the opinion that it was avoidable.

The Congress has categorically rejected the charge that it had launched the attack on AKG Centre on the eve of Rahul Gandhi's visit to Wayanad, where the MP's office was vandalised by a group of SFI workers.

The grand old party felt that the attack on the CPM's headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram was stage-managed by someone in the Left party itself with an intention to abate the relevance of Rahul Gandhi's visit and kindle a strong pro-party feeling since the senior LDF partner has been mired in controversies over several issues, including the gold smuggling case.

KPCC president K Sudhakaran went a step ahead and named Jayarajan as the one who had scripted the late Thursday night attack on AKG Centre.

In retaliation, CPM leaders said Congress would commit such an act under its new state leadership. Another assumption is that someone else has been trying to fish in troubled political waters. The CPM believes that only those forces wanting to spark a riot would target the AKG Centre.

The CPM did not hold the regular Friday meeting of its secretariat on July 1, though most members,  including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, were present at the party headquarters. The chief minister has issued strict instructions to the party against unleashing violence in retaliation to the attack on AKG Centre. The CPM, however, protested the incident at local committee levels.

Incidentally, the explosive was lobbed at the AKG Center merely days after Indira Bhavan, the state headquarters of the Congress in Thiruvananthapuram, was attacked. Congress alleged that no one was arrested in connection with the attack on its office.

An all-party meeting convened by the first Pinarayi government had reached a consensus against targeting party offices and residences of leaders as part of any protest. Recent incidents prove that the decision, however, was discarded. A CPM meeting decided to stick to the decision, and incidentally, the AKG Centre, where the meeting was held, itself came under attack.

Meanwhile, the CPM's capability to protect its own headquarters when it is in power is also being raised.

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