Kerala

HC order on Periye case turns poll issue in Manjeswaram

UDF’s Lok Sabha campaign had also focused on the murder of Congress workers

With the High Court ordering a CBI probe into the twin murders at Periye after strongly criticising the police investigation, the matter has snowballed into a huge election issue, with political opponents set to use it as a stick to beat the Left Democratic Front (LDF) with in the Manjeswaram poll campaign.

During the Lok Sabha election campaign, the United Democratic Front (UDF) had used the murder of Congress workers Kripesh and Sarath Lal by alleged Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers. The UDF campaign accusing the CPI(M) of eliminating political rivals in the district was one of the reasons for the latter’s electoral setback in the Lok Sabha election.

Backed by the unprecedented victory in the recent Pala by-election, the CPI(M), by fielding Shankar Rai, a popular figure among the linguistic minority community in Manjeswaram, was hopeful of garnering votes and turning the tables to its advantage. However, the High Court’s critical observation in the twin murder case is likely to turn into a headache for the party.

The CPI(M)’s opponents have already started raising the issue in their election campaign. Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader P.K. Kunhalikutty said the High Court order was a huge setback for the LDF and that the UDF would use the issue in the poll campaign. The CBI probe would expose the real culprits, including CPI(M) leaders, behind the murders, he said.

BJP district president K. Shreekanth said both the UDF and the LDF were on the same side and they were trying their best to stop the BJP. Despite several attacks on their workers, the party had always maintained patience, unlike the others who had made the place a battleground and oppressed the democratic rights of the people, he said. The court observation revealed that and people were looking for an alternative in their constituency, he added.

Meanwhile, CPI(M) district secretary M.V. Balakrishnan said efforts of the opponents to target the party by raising the High Court order was not going to affect the LDF in the Manjeswaram by-election. The party was ready for any investigation and the leaders had made it very clear from the beginning that they would not tolerate anyone indulging in such crimes. “People have not forgotten and know well who brutally killed 39 CPI(M) workers in Kasaragod, including three who were from the Manjeswaram constituency,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:33:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-order-on-periye-case-turns-poll-issue-in-manjeswaram/article29569263.ece

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