The Congress is bent on extracting as much political mileage out of the Shuhaib murder as is possible. The party is planning to up the ante on the issue and pile on the pressure on the LDF government. Here’s a report for Different Truths.
The murder of Youth Congress worker, Shuhaib, in the violence-prone Kannur district, allegedly by CPI(M) cadres, has put the party and the government headed by it under severe pressure.
The murder could not have come at a worse time for the CPI(M), which is already reeling under the adverse impact of serious allegations of financial irregularities against the son of CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
What is significant is the failure of top CPI(M) leaders themselves, with the exception of CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan, to defend the party over what the opposition describes as organised “red terror’’ against political rivals.
The murder has come as a godsend for the Congress and the United Democratic Front (UDF), considerably weakened by the desertions from the UDF camp, first by the Kerala Congress(Mani) and then the Janata Dal(United). The party leaders believe that it has now cottoned on to a potent issue to harass and put the CPI(M) totally on the defensive, politically.
And there are indications that the Congress is bent on extracting as much political mileage out of the Shuhaib murder as is possible. The party is planning to up the ante on the issue and pile on the pressure on the LDF government. As part of its efforts, the Congress is planning a statewide agitation. Besides, the Youth Congress is organising a march to the IG’s office on February 21 besides protests across the state on the 19th.
What must worry the CPI(M) leadership is the Congress decided to cash in on the politics of murder which the party has accused the CPI(M) of unleashing against political opponents in the state.
Both the Congress and the BJP have demanded a CBI inquiry into the murder. The Congress says the state police is simply in no position to apprehend the real culprits. The fact that four days after the murder, the police is still groping in the dark is self-explanatory, Congress leaders contend. Hence the demand for a CBI probe.
The deafening silence of the CPI(M)’s allies, except the CPI, must also cause grave concern to the party leadership. The CPI has gone on record that it does not believe in the politics of murder, which it says has no place in a civilised society. That such murders are happening with frightening regularity is a blot on the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, the party said.
The murder must also induce serious introspection among the CPI(M) leaders. Ritualistic condemnation of the murder won’t do because the people at large dismiss such condemnations with the contempt they deserve.
The CPI(M) leadership should not lose further time in taking a firm stand on politics of violence. It is the time the party and the government led by it took firm steps to stop recurrence of political murders. As a first and concrete step, the party could expel the workers who are said to be behind the murder. The direction must come from the very top. In the absence of such stern measures, the cadres would continue to indulge in politics of violence. A stern message that violence and killing of political opponents won’t be tolerated must percolate from the top to the cadres lower down.
Failure to do so would encourage the BJP-RSS, looking for an opportunity to harass the LDF government, to campaign for dismissal of the left government. It must be mentioned in this connection, the state Governor has already taken severe exception to the failure of the LDF government to end political violence. Any delay in taking corrective steps would prove politically and electorally costly for the CPI(M) and the LDF government. The time to act is now.
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