Kerala

P.C. George lashes out at Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, campaigns for BJP in Thrikkakara bypoll

P.C. George.

P.C. George. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

With May 29 being the last day of campaigning for the upcoming bypoll for Thrikkakara constituency in Ernakulam district, senior politician P.C. George lashed out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and extended support for the BJP candidate in the by-election.

Mr. George, who was recently granted bail by the Kerala High Court in connection with a hate speech case, snubbed a summons issued by the police to appear at the Fort Police station in Thiruvananthapuram for questioning and landed at Thrikkakara to join the BJP campaign.

In a press conference held at Thrikkakara, Mr. George, flanked by BJP leaders including State President K. Surendran and the party's by-poll candidate A.N. Radhakrishnan, told reporters that both the Left front and UDF were permitting radical and communal groups to operate in the State in order to gain power.

While Mr. Vijayan has done a lot of good work for the State in the past, he was now "incompetent, weak and forgetful" and it was sad to see him like this, Mr. George said.

Mr. George further said the Vijayan government arrested and put him in jail, but took no action against some other persons who allegedly made derogatory remarks against Christians and Hindus. Mr. George also alleged that Mr. Vijayan intervened and permitted the Popular Front of India (PFI) march in Alappuzha despite intelligence warnings as well as the district collector and district police chief's advice against allowing the same.

This was done in view of the upcoming Thrikkakara bypoll, Mr. George claimed. When asked about him ignoring the police summons to appear for questioning at Thiruvananthapuram on May 29 and the subsequent notice sent by the agency on Saturday to him for declining to show up there, Mr. George said he does not care about the notice.

Mr. George said that being a Christian, Sunday was an important day for him and despite being aware of it, police asked him to be present at Thiruvananthapuram for questioning at 11 a.m. which was in bad taste. Mr. George said he was in police custody or jail for two days from May 24 onwards and he could have been questioned during that time.

"Therefore, I am not going to mind their notice," he told the reporters. Mr. George also said the summons and the subsequent notice were sent by the police to prevent him from speaking at Thrikkakara as part of the election campaign.

Mr. George, in a letter to the police, had on Saturday said that as the head of the Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) party, he had a right to indicate his and his party's position in relation to the Thrikkakara bypoll. He had also cited his health condition as a reason for not appearing at the police station concerned in Thiruvananthapuram for questioning but had assured that he would cooperate with the investigation.

Subsequently, the police, in its notice dated May 28 sent to him, said his refusal to appear on May 29 citing health conditions and saying he will come on another day, shows "ulterior motives" and is also a violation of the Kerala High Court order of May 27.

The Kerala High Court while granting Mr. George bail on May 27 had said, "Petitioner (George) shall fully cooperate with the investigation including with any scientific procedure that may be required by the prosecution."

"Petitioner shall not make any speech or statement which would tend to result in commission of offences under Sections 153A or 295A of the Indian Penal Code. The petitioner shall make himself available for interrogation as and when called upon to do so in writing," the court stated.

On May 1, police had registered a case against Mr. George under Indian Penal Code Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) at Fort Police station for allegedly making a communal speech against Muslims while addressing 'Ananthapuri Hindu Maha Sammelanam' on April 29.

Though P.C. George was arrested on May 1, he was granted bail on the same day. The 71-year-old former MLA had sparked a controversy by asking non-Muslims in Kerala to avoid eating at restaurants run by the community.

Subsequently, on May 10, another case was registered against Mr. George at Palarivattom police station in Ernakulam district on charges of hate speech related to another event there on May 8. The Thrikkakara bypoll will be held on May 31.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2022 9:14:06 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/pc-george-lashes-out-at-kerala-cm-pinarayi-vijayan-campaigns-for-bjp-in-thrikkakara-bypoll/article65473094.ece