In one of the biggest protest rallies seen in Kerala’s hill Wayanad district, thousands of people, including all top state Congress leaders, on Saturday demonstrated against the vandalisation of party leader and local MP Rahul Gandhi’s constituency office by SFI activists.
The reason, as per the Students Federation of India, the student wing of the ruling CPI-M, was that Gandhi did not take up the buffer zone issue. However, the Congress dismissed the charge, saying Gandhi had taken it up and the prime culprit in the issue was Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
State Congress chief K. Sudhakaran, who reached Wayanad, said this was an attack that has been scripted by the CPI-M and this is seen from the fact that a staff member of Health Minister Veena George was one of the protesters who led from the front.
Speaker after speaker, including senior party leaders, slammed Vijayan, alleging that he orchestrated the attack to divert attention from the multitude of issues, including smuggling of currency and gold, he is allegedly involved in.
The ruling Left Democratic Front’s second biggest constituent, the CPI also slammed the attack on a political office and said incidents like this should be controlled and it is the responsibility of political parties to see they rein in such things.
Meanwhile, the top leadership of the SFI is also reaching Wayanad after they were pulled up by the CPI-M leadership and they have promised that appropriate action would be taken.
Early in the day, 19 arrested SFI activists were sent to judicial custody.
The 19 were arrested on Friday and on Saturday, six more were taken into custody. Police is likely to make more arrests.
Meanwhile, with the Assembly session beginning on Monday, this issue is likely to rock the house and the Congress-led opposition is mulling if it should raise this issue first or the explosive revelations made by gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh against Vijayan, whom and his family, she accused, of indulging in smuggling currency and gold.