Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has alleged that the poll-related violence in parts of Kannur on Saturday was the result of a conspiracy by the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) leadership.
Mr. Vijayan told a news conference here on Sunday that Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran's statement that he had prior information about the possibility of violence showed that he was aware of the conspiracy.
What Mr. Ramachandran should have done on receipt of any such information was to pass it on to his State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. That he did not do so indicated that the information that he had was not fit to be communicated to the State government, Mr. Vijayan said.
The CPI(M) State secretary said the eight booths were re-polling had become necessary on account of violence were all in areas of UDF dominance. While the man in charge at the trouble-hit booth at Payyannur was a loyalist of Congress MP K. Sudhakaran, those who indulged in violence at Pattuvam, Mattool, Thillankery and Irikkoor were Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) activists. Nobody would be able to cite even a single instance of violence by CPI(M) activists in the area and, therefore, Mr. Ramachandran's statement was immature, he said.
Referring to Mr. Ramachandran's statement that the CPI(M) had unleashed violence in Kannur owing to the heavy drop-out from the party in its strongholds, Mr. Vijayan said the Union Minister would do better to worry about the health of his party rather than that of the CPI(M). To the best of his knowledge, there was no large scale desertion from the party. The CPI(M) had the inner strength to correct ordinary activists and big time leaders who strayed, he said.
Mr. Vijayan rebutted the charge that CPI(M) activists had used some chemical solution to erase the indelible ink used for the polls and said he was not aware of any such technique. The UDF had come up with such charges and unleashed violence only because of their fear about the election outcome. The public at large and the media seemed unaware of the real significance of the violence and re-polling. It was a shame for the State and could well be the beginning of worse things as had happened just before the Emergency.
Replying to questions, Mr. Vijayan said the CPI(M) was not worried about the high polling percentage as the LDF was well-placed in all the seven districts that had gone to polls on Saturday.
To a question on the lottery row, he said the whole issue had to do with the Congress leadership's greed for money. Otherwise, they would have given the States the power to check the activities of other State lotteries, he said and added that only the media was confused about the action being taken in the lottery issue, the CPI(M) leader said.