Finance Minister KN Balagopal in the Assembly accused the Congress of blocking roads, damaging vehicles and ‘unleashing false propaganda’ on the issue.

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news Politics Tuesday, November 02, 2021 - 16:48
Written by  PTI

A day after the attack on Malayalam actor Jojo George’s car during a Congress protest put the party in a spot, the Congress has said they should not be taught by the ruling CPI(M) on how to stage an agitation. The Congress, who was staging a protest against the fuel price hike, said that the people should be allowed to judge for what the strike had been organised.

The Congress's sharp reaction came in the state Assembly, when the ruling party raised the issue during the zero hour. During his speech on the notice for adjournment motion moved by the Congress-UDF on fuel price hike, Finance Minister KN Balagopal, apparently referring to the incident, accused the opposition party of blocking roads, damaging vehicles and “unleashing false propaganda” on the issue.

When the Congress members protested, Chief Minister Pinarayi intervened, and said the Congress leadership should introspect whether it was appropriate to call a person like Jojo, who is a leading artist and known figure in the public domain, a drunkard by KPCC chief K Sudhakaran.

Irked over the remarks, Leader of Opposition in the House, VD Satheesan said it was "your police" who had passed the information to the protesting party workers that he was drunk.

The CM should probe the matter and he has all the supporting systems to carry out such an investigation, the leader said. He also said they should not be taught on how to carry out an agitation.

"Let the people judge for what the agitation had been carried out. Jojo was not beaten up (by the party workers)," he said.

Taking a dig at the Marxist party, Satheesan sought to know what would be their reaction if a person would approach an agitation organised by them angrily, scolding the protesting party workers. 

The protest against the hike in fuel price by the Congress district committee in Kochi on Monday has put the party in a spot after filmstar Joju George questioned the blocking of a busy National Highway by the agitators which resulted in an attack on his car, triggering an outpouring of support for the actor from the film industry and the DYFI.

Read: ​​Actor Joju George's car vandalised amid Congress protest over fuel price hike in Kochi

Even as Congress chief K Sudhakaran termed Jojo's act of questioning as 'goondaism,' Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan said he personally was against protests involving road blocks.

Meanwhile, the cinema fraternity and the DYFI, the youth organisation of the ruling CPI(M), came out in support of the actor. Police, after considering the actor's medical test report, said he was not drunk as alleged by the Congress leaders.

Also read: Actor Joju George's car vandalised amid Congress protest over fuel price hike in Kochi