The CPI(M) is however dismissing the yatra and calls the BJP desperate.

Ground Report With Janaraksha yatra the BJP gets all set to take on CPI M on its turf
news Politics Monday, October 02, 2017 - 21:46

A big stage has been set up adjacent to the old bus station in Payyannur, one of the busy towns in the northern district of Kannur.

Flags and banners screaming the BJP's stand on violence 'unleashed by the CPI(M)' are all around it.

The BJP chose Payyannur to kick off its Janarakaha Yatra as this is the region that has witnessed the highest number of RSS workers being killed due to political violence. It is also the stronghold of the CPI (M) and of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

BJP National President Amit Shah will inaugurate the rally at Payyanur on Tuesday morning. A big board with pictures of RSS workers who were allegedly killed by CPI (M) has been kept near the stage. At least 30 chairs have been placed on the stage.

Photos of RSS workers killed in political violence in the region.

BJP former state president V Muraleedharan and senior leader PK Krishnadas, along with other district leaders have been monitoring the arrangements.

The excitement was palpable among party workers who were at the venue as this is the BJP's big confrontation with CPI (M) in north Kerala.

Scores of people, auto rickshaw drivers, daily wage workers, bus drivers and cleaners were standing a little far from the stage watching the arrangements. There is a lot of curiosity around the yatra that the BJP believes will expose the CPI(M)'s violent politics.

"Why the Yatra is important is because of the issue of political killings that we are trying to highlight. National leaders are coming to speak about how seriously the BJP perceives this," V Muraleedharan told TNM.

Vehicles with loudpseakers fitted on them were seen doing frequent trips in and around Payyanur and Kannur asking people to participate in the yatra. Posters of the yatra with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan have been erected in all busy junctions.

At least 30 chairs have been placed on the stage.

Meanwhile a meeting with the Indian Union Muslim League was going on at Taliparamba, which is around 20 kilometers away from Payyannur.

Interestingly the CPI (M) is guarded in its response to the yatra and some of the leaders of the party in the district were away at Aaralam for a farmers' meeting.

CPI (M) leaders like district secretary P Jayarajan and PK Sreemathy MP say they don’t take the Yatra so seriously.

"If they are conducting the Janaraksha yatra, we have also organized political rallies to highlight flaws of the Union Government," Jayarajan said.

Sreemathy said that it was not new that BJP national leaders were touring the state.

Though life was going on as usual in the town, hundreds of police personnel on the streets were proof that the state machinery was not willing to take any chances.

"I am not aware of how big the rally is. Heard that a meeting is taking place," said Reetha, a native of Pilathara.

Autorickshaw driver Mahesh said that he is happy that a national leader is coming to Payyanur. "It is good no?" he chuckles. "Some people may be aware of its political importance, I am not that aware though," he said.

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