The CPI(M) has condemned the incident and alleged that Congress and BJP are part of a conspiracy to sabotage the Assembly election.

Video LDF candidate Antony Johns campaign vehicle stormed allegedly by UDF men
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 19:40

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate of Kothamangalam and sitting MLA Antony John was allegedly assaulted during his campaign on Monday. According to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretariat, Antony John’s vehicle was blocked and attacked on the road. The CPI(M) has also alleged that it was a planned move by the United Democratic Front workers to create a ruckus. In the statement released by the state party secretariat, the MLA had to go in another vehicle arranged by police due to the issue. Since Monday, the video of the incident has been circulating on social media.

In the video, a man, holding a crumpled flag — seemingly belonging to the Congress party — in his hand, is seen talking to MLA Antony John on his campaign vehicle and then dancing to the beats in the background. As the MLA asks him to step down the vehicle, other members of the campaign team remove him. Another person in the crowd was seen waving the party flag of the Indian Union of Muslim League (IUM) — an ally of the Congress in the United Democratic Front (UDF) — amid the CPI(M) party flags. A few could be heard shouting some slogans standing near the vehicle. The CPI(M) alleged that the attackers tore Antony Raju’s shirt and tried to pull him down from the vehicle. Some of the LDF workers, who tried to prevent the attack, were also allegedly injured.

The incident took place on Monday. Earlier that day, in Kannur’s Kalliassery, a few BJP workers blocked a pregnant woman and her husband for more than an hour, alleging that they passed through their party rally. The police later arrived and rescued them. They also registered a case registered in the matter.

In a statement, the CPI(M) said, “This incident points that people who are ready to attack a candidate publicly will do anything to sabotage the elections. BJP is also part of this conspiracy. That is why they attacked and blocked a pregnant woman who was travelling in a car in Kalliassery during a rally held by the party."

The statement said that opposition parties are unleashing attacks, fearing defeat in elections.  It also urged the Election Commission and police to take necessary action, while also requesting the LDF workers not to get provoked by such attacks and get involved in campaigning.