"When you constantly criticise the CM, be ready to bear the repercussions," MLA AN Shamseer told Advocate Jayasankar, who was on the panel.

Left MLA warns advocate Jayasankar on TV debate against criticising Kerala CM
news Television Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 14:51

Kerala's Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA AN Shamseer is known to be a leader who doesn’t mince his words. And therefore, his statements on CPI (M)'s retaliatory attacks have landed him in trouble more than once.

In August last year, Shamseer had courted controversy when he said: “We will reciprocate if attacked, there is no doubt in that. We’ll hit out at them, good and proper."

Now, the Thalassery MLA has landed in hot water, after he ‘warned’ Advocate A Jayasankar, one of the panelists during a television debate show that he will have to “face the consequences” for “crossing boundaries” and criticising Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The other panelists on the show read it as a death threat, and while Shamseer has denied the allegation, the issue has snowballed into a controversy.

On Tuesday, News 18 was discussing the delay in Transport Minister Thomas Chandy's resignation during their prime time show. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) minister has been accused of encroaching land and violating the Kerala Paddy Land and Wetland Act.

During the discussion, which Shamseer, critic and advocate Jayasankar, BJP leader PS Sreedharan Pillai and Congress man M Liju took part in, the Left MLA warned Jayasankar against "personally attacking Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan."

Calling Jayasankar a "Pinarayi virodhi" (someone who despises Pinarayi), Shamseer said:

"He has been constantly rubbishing the CM. He first said Pinarayi will not become the CM. Then when he did, Jayasankar said he will make Pinarayi resign, that he will be prosecuted in the Lavlin case. Now you must understand that the world does not function according to what you say."

Charging at Jayasankar, Shamseer went on to say:

"When you are coming live on a TV debate at 8pm and criticising the CM of the state, you should understand that the Left has the courage to counter you. I saw a video clip in which Jayasankar is criticising the CM. If he does that, he will have to face the consequences, you better understand that clearly. I am talking responsibly to you. If you cross the boundaries, you should have the courage to face the repercussions. You are not our target."

By this point, the anchor of the show E Saneesh had miserably failed in intervening, although he pointed out at various times that Shamseer was diverting from the topic being discussed.  

Ignoring the anchor's questions on why the Pinarayi government was delaying Thomas Chandy's ouster, Shamseer continued to warn Jayasankar that the latter would face consequence for his words.

Further, Shamseer went on to justify his "threats", saying that everyone has the right to criticise the CM, but should not resort to personal insults.

At this point, the topic of discussion (Thomas Chandy's delayed resignation) had taken a back seat, with the other members in the panel speaking against Shamseer for his words.

Congress man Liju questioned Shamseer's words, and asked whether he meant that Jayasankar would be hacked to death.  

"Do you mean you will hack Jayasankar to death? Like how your people killed an RSS man (Anand) in Guruvayur yesterday? I am not saying Shamseer said so. But when people hear your words, they might feel that's what you are hinting at," Liju said.

BJP leader Sreedharan Pillai who was part of the discussion, also used the opportunity to come down heavily on the Left.

Reacting to the apparent threat, Jayasankar said that Shamseer was free to send people to harm him.

"You are threatening people who are taking part in TV debates. You must hack me, hack me 51 times until I die. I am going to be here, you are free to send people in Innova cars," Jayasankar said, addressing Shamseer MLA.

While anchor Saneesh intervened by saying that the "threat" should be seen as a sudden spurt of emotion and not as a threat per se, the harm had already been done.

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