Kerala CM failed to control Sabarimala violence: Congress

Kochi/Kottayam: Opposition Congress in Kerala on Sunday attacked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the Sabarimala issue, accusing him of not controlling the law and order situation and preparing ground for the BJP to grow.

The Congress’s reaction came amid violence involving BJP-RSS and ruling CPI(M) workers over the Sabarimala issue in the state. Violence erupted following the entry of women into the hill shrine of Lord Ayappa in Sabarimala and a number of houses and shops in the politically volatile Kannur district was attacked.

The police failed to contain violence unleashed by the Sangh Parivar and the CPI(M) in the state after two women entered Sabarimala temple violating its centuries old tradition, Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said.

Criticising Vijayan for his recent statements on the entry of women in the shrine, the Congress leader said “we are seeing a chief minister who is calling for riot in the state.” “The chief minister is not trying bring the situation under control. Instead he is issuing statements like a CPI(M) Secretary, worsening the law and order situation. His actions help BJP and Sangh Parivar to gain ground in Kerala,” Chennithala told reporters here.

Ramesh Chennithala

He alleged that the Kerala’s ruling LDF and the BJP which is in power in the centre were trying to make the state a killing field. Both the BJP and the CPI (M) are trying to foment communal tension for their political gain in the state, the Congress leader said.

Chennithala also urged the Union government to enact a legislation to protect custom and tradition of the Lord Ayyappa temple. Violence involving BJP-RSS and ruling CPM workers rocked Kerala with a number of houses and shops of rival leaders and workers being attacked.

Bombs were hurled at several places, including at the houses of CPI(M) and BJP leaders in Kannur district. Meanwhile, the BJP also came down heavily on the CPI(M), saying the state government was engaged in demolishing religious faith in Kerala.

Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam condemned the “bid by the state government to divide” the society in the name of religion and class.

The minister said this after meeting a group of Christians in an Anglican church near Kottayam who had allegedly sought shelter there after being attacked by DYFI workers during Christmas celebrations last week. The CPI (M) and the DYFI have rejected the allegations.