Periye, Walayar cases will impact local body polls: Chandy

The upcoming local body polls will see people’s response to the State government for its lapses in the Periye case involving the murder of two Youth Congress activists and the Walayar case involving the alleged rape and death of two minor girls, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

Addressing a ‘Meet the Leader’ event organised by the Calicut Press Club here on Wednesday, the Congress leader said that the government had not been sympathetic to the feelings of the parents of Kripesh and Sarath Lal, the murdered activists. Mr. Chandy also accused the government of spending crores of rupees to hire lawyers to challenge the parents’ demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident in the High Court and later the Supreme Court. The apex court ruling in favour of a CBI probe was a “huge setback”, he said.

Mr. Chandy pointed out that the Walayar case too was shoddily handled, as the parents of the girls were not provided a copy of the post-mortem examination report when one of the siblings were found dead. Nobody had been arrested too. The government is opposing a CBI probe in this case as well, he alleged.

Asked about the ongoing cases registered against Opposition leaders, Mr. Chandy claimed that at least some of them, such as the one against former Minister V.K. Ibrahim Kunju, would prove to be a setback to the government. He claimed that 30% of work on the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi had been completed during the tenure of the LDF government, who had showcased it as one of its achievements. It should be noted that the contractor who constructed the flyover had not procured the completion certificate. Why was the government not willing to conduct a road test despite court directions, Mr. Chandy asked.

He said that the allegations against Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala too were not new. Probes conducted earlier had cleared him of all charges, and there had not been any new revelation. “The government is trying to divert attention from various controversies surrounding it. It is also aimed at targeting Mr. Chennithala, who had been exposing many wrong-doings of the government,” Mr. Chandy added.

‘No alliance’

The former Chief Minister clarified that the UDF would not have any alliance or tie-up with parties outside the coalition for the local body polls.

He was responding to questions on the Congress party’s reported tactical understanding with the Jamaat-e-Islami-supported Welfare Party of India in Mukkom Municipality of Kozhikode district.

He said the political affairs committee of the Congress had decided against any truck with parties outside the UDF, which was endorsed by other allies as well. When pointed out that the UDF did not have candidates in some wards where the WPI had fielded its nominees, the Congress leader said he would find out if that was the case. “Look at those who are raising the allegations. The same people who sought the help of the WPI during the last elections and took out a victory march along with them,” Mr. Chandy said. The party will discuss issues raised by K. Muraleedharan, MP, over candidate selection for Kallamala division in Kozhikode block panchayat, he added.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 4:38:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/periye-walayar-cases-will-impact-local-body-polls-chandy/article33234509.ece

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