Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani rejects invite to CPM programme in Kerala

By Shafeeq Hudawi, TwoCircles.net

Kozhikode: Kerala CPI (M) leadership was left red faced after Jignesh Mevani, Una agitation leader, rejected the party’s invitation to attend the Swabhiman Congregation by Pattika Kshema Samithi (PKS), the SC and ST outfit of the party.

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On Sunday, Mewani, who had initially agreed to meet the protest gathering against atrocities on Dalits across the country, took a U turn when he found that PKS was affiliated with CPI (M).


“I was invited to this program a few days back and I agreed to attend the program after I was told that it is not affiliated with any political party. But it was brought to my notice by my friends in Kerala that PKS is a frontal organisation of CPI (M). As an Ambedkarite, I have serious reservations and problems with the work and ideology of CPI (M) in Kerala and elsewhere. Not only is their work problematic, I also seriously condemn the treatment meted out to Chitralekha by CPI (M) and I am with her in her struggle,” reads a Facebook post by Mevani.

Chitralekha, a dalit lady autorickshaw driver, was continuously attacked by the party workers as she dared to work among the male drivers at one of the CPM strongholds at Payyannur in Kannur. Party leadership stayed mum over the attacks even after the Dalit lady chose to take her protests to the state secretariat few months back. The party leadership had drawn heavy criticism over its inaction in addressing the woes faced by Chitralekha.

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Mevani, through his Facebook post, apologised to PKS and clarified that he was open to all invitations, extended by any Ambedkarite group.

“I withdraw my participation from this programme and I apologise for any inconvenience caused. I apologise to PKS for agreeing to attend their program without first verifying who they are affiliated to. I would rather prefer to be invited by any Ambedkarite group or other progressive groups in Kerala for whom fighting Caste has been their topmost priority and have worked over a period of time on the path set by Babasaheb,” his Facebook post added.

However, PKS has decided to go ahead with the programme. The Swabhiman Congregation, which is to be held on September 21 in Kannur, will be attended by Ashok Mochi, the former face of Gujarat riots, Somaprasad MP and CPI (M) leader P Jayarajan.