Kerala, Feb 20, 2019: The Kasaragod killing of two Youth Congress workers has diminished the chances of any alliance between Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Last week, Kerala Congress president Mullappally Ramachandran announced that his party was willing to hold a political dialogue with the CPI(M) if the ruling party shunned its violent brand of politics.
“We are ready for an open discussion with the CPI(M) on forming an anti-fascist and secular alliance. The alliance will be possible only if the party is ready to abjure politics of violence,” the state Congress chief told a gathering at Mallappuram on February 10. Ramachandran is currently on a maha jana yatra, a march to connect with the party cadre and strengthen the organisational set up in the state. The yatra was kicked off from Kasaragod on February 3. A Kerala Congress leader said on condition of anonymity that the central leadership recently indicated its willingness to do business with the rival CPI(M) in the southern state to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power in the Lok Sabha elections.
He cited the “growing bonhomie” between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury to buttress his point.
But the Kasaragod incident has scuttled any chance of a tie-up between the two parties.
Two Youth Congress workers Kripesh (24) and Sarath Lal (21) were attacked and killed while returning home after attending a function at Periya in Kasaragod on Sunday night.
Though the Congress attacked the CPI(M) for the murders, the ruling party has denied any role in the killings.
“No chance. We cannot have any alliance with the CPI(M). It is party of murderers,” said senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.
“Cold-blood political murders are taking place every day in the state... Chief minister is protecting the murderers and criminals.” His party colleague BS Shiju agreed.
“The Congress cadre is against any alliance with the CPI(M). How can we have an alliance with a party which is brutally killing our cadre? ” Our appeal to Rahulji and also to West Bengal leaders (of the Congress) is please don’t have any truck with the Stalinist party.” The chief minister dismissed the allegations, insisting that the CPI(M) never promoted violence. “If CPI(M) activists are found to be involved in the crime, they would never get the party’s backing. They will not only have to face legal action but also stern measures by the party,” he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.