BJP may unleash violence to dodge corruption charges: Kerala CM
Bengaluru: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said that he had received intelligence input saying the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may unleash violence in parts of the state, in order to divert attention from the corruption charges that hit its state unit in July.
He said the government is ready to hand over the investigation over graft charges to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), as demanded by main opposition Congress.
The charges relate to a leaked internal probe report of the BJP, naming party’s state general secretary M.T. Ramesh and its cooperative cell convenor R.S. Vinod of accepting over Rs5.6 crore bribe to get Medical Council of India (MCI) recognition for two private medical colleges. The party later suspended Vinod and absolved Ramesh of irregularities, but the government has pressed a vigilance investigation into the matter based on media reports.
The government’s official statement, made on the first day of the state assembly session, comes at a time when Vijayan’s Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM and the BJP have been at loggerheads over political murders in Kerala due to intense rivalry among the cadres, which is decades-old but has escalated after the Left government came to power in 2016.
Police data on the number of political murders show that more CPM workers have been killed than Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-BJP workers—85 from CPM and 65 RSS or BJP workers have been killed in Kerala between 2000 and 2017, according to an NDTV report.
BJP leader and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday, during his visit to Kerala, had condemned the murder of a 34-year-old RSS worker, Rajesh, in Thiruvananthapuram on 29 July, allegedly by CPM workers. The murder had caught wide attention, with Kerala governor P. Sathasivam and Union home minister Rajnath Singh asking CM Vijayan to look in to the state’s law and order situation.
The CPM, however, has denied any role in the murder and sees the development as a consorted campaign by the opposition BJP to tarnish the image of the ruling party in the state.
Vijayan also held an all-party meeting on Sunday, where leaders of both the CPM and the BJP agreed to be more vigilant and ask workers to not indulge in violence.