Friday is anti-violence day for Congress in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 28 : The stone pelted at Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has been transformed into an event worth commemorating - the Congress party has decided to observe Friday as "Anti-Violence Day'".

Chandy is being treated at the Medical College Hospital here, with injuries in the forehead, chest and leg, as the stone hurled by activists of the Communist Party of India-Marxist smashed the window pane of his official car.

The stone was pelted Sunday as the chief minister was on his way to the Kerala Police Athletic Meet at Kannur.

Oct 31, the day that the Congress has chosen as its "Non-Violence Day" would also mark the death anniversary of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated Oct 31, 1984. For Chandy, the day is also special as a birthday - this year, he turns 70.

"The CPI-M state secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan's statement that his party has no role in the heinous attack, the first of its kind on a chief minister here, is one which no one in Kerala will ever believe. Since yesterday afternoon, at Kannur, ahead of Chandy's visit they were getting ready to unleash this attack," Chennithala said to reporters here, Monday.

"On Oct 31, I will inaugurate the anti-violence day at Kannur and across the state. Our party will hold rallies and public meetings. The CPI-M has no way but to desist from unleashing violence," Chennithala said.

The attack comes at a time when relations were strained between Chandy and Chennithala, as the latter's bid to enter the cabinet as home minister were stalled.

"Yes, there are differences of opinion in our party, but we are united and the attack on Chandy is just not acceptable. The party condemns it as the worst ever action by the CPI-M," Chennithala said.

Chandy is expected to be discharged from hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Kannur police, which took into custody 21 CPI-M workers, arrested 15 of them. A court at Kannur has remanded them for two weeks.

Meanwhile, Vijayan and his CPI-M colleague and former state home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who were keen to pay Chandy a visit in hospital were told by Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan that it would be better if they waited a few days before meeting the injured Chandy.

--IANS (Posted on 28-10-2013)

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