Bengaluru: Workers of Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) Wednesday attacked Congress legislator V.T.Balram after the latter made unsavoury remarks about late A.K.Gopalan, an iconic Communist leader.
Communist workers hurled rotten eggs and pelted stones when the MLA was visiting his constituency in Palakkad district amid tight police security, the website of The Hindu newspaper reported. While Balram sustained minor injuries, some 30 other people including police constables were injured. In protest, Congress called for a day-long shutdown in the district on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Balram had posted on Facebook that Gopalan —often called AKG in the state —was a child abuser and that he married a child when he was already married to another person.
Balram says his claims are based on the late leader’s autobiography, while opponents say according to the autobiography, AKG was separated from his spouse when he first met Susheela —the child Balram was referring to —in 1943. Susheela, who later became a Communist leader, was 14 years old at the time, and the two got married after nine years, as per the book.
AKG is respected across political parties in Kerala and is often called the ‘crusader of the downtrodden’. Balram’s comment angered CPM and upset his own Congress leaders. Senior leaders of Congress such as A.K.Antony, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala have disowned Balram’s comment and expressed their admiration for AKG; however Balram has refused to budge so far.
Later on Wednesday, Balram wrote on Facebook that he won’t run away in fear of Gopal Sena, taking a dig at a volunteer group raised by AKG to resist anti-Communist forces.