The opposition staged a walkout in the Assembly over CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s refusal to address alleged police inaction in the attacks, the Congress said.

Representative image of Kerala AssemblyKerala Assembly
news Politics Monday, July 04, 2022 - 20:00

The Kerala Assembly on Monday, July 4, rejected the adjournment motion moved by the UDF (United Democratic Front), alleging police inaction and failure in connection with the attack on CPI(M)'s state headquarters AKG Centre, as well as several Congress offices across the state. Upon the CPI(M)’s decision to reject the motion, the opposition staged a walkout from the House. Earlier in the day, speaker MB Rajesh said that the adjournment motion would be discussed for two hours starting from 1 pm.

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly VD Satheesan contended that the issues raised by the UDF, regarding lack of police action in apprehending the culprits behind the attacks on offices of both parties, have not been answered or addressed by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and therefore, they staged a walkout in protest.  The walkout was staged by the opposition after Speaker MB Rajesh declared that the adjournment motion, moved by Congress MLA PC Vishnunadh, was rejected. It was rejected by a show of hands after the CM's response to the opposition's allegations concluded.

Meanwhile, CM Pinarayi commenced his response with the question, “Why was the opposition and specifically the Congress not willing to condemn the attack on AKG Centre or any other such acts of violence, whosoever was behind it?.” The same was instantly countered by Satheesan, who said that the very next morning after the AKG Centre was attacked, the first statement he gave was that he strongly condemned what happened. Other senior Congress leaders too had condemned the incident, he added.

Further, the CM, in his response, also said that the attack on the CPI(M) state headquarters was a planned one and those behind it would have “hidden the culprits”, making it difficult to catch them. “However, the culprits would be caught eventually and there has been no laxity on the part of the police in its investigation and examination of CCTV footage of the area. The government will examine whether there was any failure or laxity on the part of the police personnel stationed outside AKG Centre,” he contended.

The CM's statements came in response to the opposition’s queries as to why the culprits behind the AKG Centre were not caught yet, why the police on duty did not chase the attacker, and why no wireless message was sent across the city to nab the perpetrator of the attack.

Satheesan said that after the vandalism of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad office, a police jeep was present outside the AKG Centre gate — where the explosive was thrown — at all times till June 29, but was absent on the night of June 30 when the attack occurred. "Why was this?," he questioned.

Other opposition MLAs, who also spoke during the discussion, claimed that the Congress was being “unnecessarily blamed” for the attack, and that the incident has been politicised by the CPI(M).

The opposition also alleged that the attack on AKG Centre was a ploy to divert attention from the allegations against the state government and the CM.

Several LDF MLAs spoke, rejecting the allegations and accused the Congress of having a violent political past and of not having changed its methodology even now. CM Pinarayi also said that accusing CPI(M) of carrying out the attack on its state headquarters was "uncalled for". He also dismissed as false the news reports that SDPI members visited the AKG Centre. The CM said that some persons belonging to SDPI had come to AKG Centre on July 1 to meet CPI(M) leaders but were turned away as the party does not want to have any kind of meetings with such an organisation. He said that Congress and UDF should desist from allegedly creating a riot-like environment in the state.\

Earlier in the day, Vijayan had agreed to discuss the adjournment motion saying it needs to be debated in the House as the attack on AKG Centre was” viewed with pain by lakhs of people”. An unidentified person had allegedly hurled an explosive substance at the state headquarters of the ruling CPI(M) on June 30 night. However, police are yet to identify the perpetrator.

While the CPI(M) blamed the Congress, the latter rejected the allegation. The opposition party also alleged that their party offices were targeted by the Left cadres across the state including in the districts of Kottayam, Alappuzha and Thrissur.

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