Blame game over Kerala violence disrupts parliament


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Wednesday intensified their verbal clashes in parliament over political violence in Kerala’s Kannur district, with the main opposition seeking the dismissal of the communist government in the state.

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Both houses of parliament witnessed pandemonium and adjournments, prompting Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to term the MPs’ behaviour as “murder of democracy”.

While the BJP members staged a sit-in protest and demanded the CPI-M-led government’s sack in Kerala – in the wake of Kerala High Court suggestion for deployment of central forces to contain the “murder sport” – the CPI-M blamed the continued violence in Kerala on “the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders’ unwillingness for negotiations”.

Clashes between the CPI-M and RSS activists in Kannur district’s Thalassery town in the northern part of Kerala have caused deaths of seven people since last week.

During the hearing of a murder case, the Kerala High Court said killings had become a “compelling sport” in Kannur, considered a Left bastion, and suggested that the central government should step in by sending its forces in the violence-hit district.

Alleging that the BJP and the RSS had unleashed attacks against the party offices across the country, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters in the Parliament House: “It is an ominous sign. This type of intolerance and atmosphere of animosity and hatred to gain political mileage cannot be accepted.”

“We will resist, wherever we are attacked,” Yechury warned.

However, the BJP was unapologetic about the attack on CPI-M offices, including on its headquarters here Sunday.

Chatterjee had to adjourn the Lok Sabha for two hours after the BJP MPs demanded the central government to send its forces to Kerala.

The speaker condemned the members’ behaviour, saying: “The parliament has become a public street.”

“I can only express my agony… It is a murder of democracy,” the anguished speaker added as MPs belonging to the BJP and CPI-M shouted slogans against either party.

Raising the issue, BJP leader Anant Kumar demanded the dismissal of the Kerala government. He pointed out that the high court had criticised the state government’s failure in controlling the political violence in northern Kerala.

Kumar said the high court has observed that the central government should send its forces to control the situation in the state.

As Kumar completed his remarks, BJP MPs were on their feet shouting slogans like “Dismiss Kerala government”, “Control CPI-M” and “United Progressive Alliance government is useless”. In retaliation, some CPI-M MPs demanded a ban on the RSS.

Before the house met, BJP MPs led by M. Venkaiah Naidu held a demonstration before the Parliament House and sought the dismissal of the Kerala government.

Talking to reporters, Naidu alleged that CPI-M leaders did not respect the judiciary. He challenged the communists to allow an all-party delegation to visit the violence-hit parts of the state.

“The central government should intervene to save the lives of innocent people. Politics of violence and threats will not work,” he said.

The house later took up the discussion of the union budget.