Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday held a meeting with the CPI-M and BJP-RSS leaders here following violence over the killing of an RSS worker and announced an all-party meeting on August 6 to bring about peace.
Addressing reporters after the hour-long meeting, Vijayan said peace talks were held in Kannur three months ago, but they failed to yield the desired result as violence again broke out in a few districts.
“It was decided then that no violence should take place, but that did not happen in Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam. Here the homes of councillors were attacked. The meeting condemned the attacks on the homes and the office of the BJP here. We will hold district-level peace talks and then on August 6 an all-party peace meeting will be held here,” said Vijayan after the meeting at state-owned Mascot Hotel.
Monday’s meeting comes a day after Vijayan was summoned by Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam in the wake of the deteriorating law and order situation following the murder of an RSS worker.
The first to arrive for the meeting was state Bharatiya Janata Party President Kummanam Rajasekharan along with his team, including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief P. Gopalan Kutty.
Vijayan then arrived along with CPI-M state Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Vijayan, upon arriving at the venue, lost his cool when he saw the media taking visuals of the meeting.
He directed his ire towards the manager of the hotel, and then while waiting at the entrance of the hall he asked the media to get out.
Vijayan entered the hall only after all the media personnel had exited.
When the media later asked why he was angry with them, Vijayan ignored their query. He explained the outcome of the meeting and left.
Rajasekharan said the meeting went off well. “We explained our position, and stressed that the right to work in a political party should not be curbed,” he said.
“The need of the hour is that police should be given a free hand. This is not happening as the police remain mute spectators when the ruling party workers go berserk. Had the police been allowed to do their duty by intervening whenever there is a law and order issue, matters would not have reached this stage. We have agreed to cooperate in restoring peace,” said Rajasekharan.
Vijayan on Sunday promised that action would be taken against law-breakers irrespective of their status and political affiliation.
The Governor on Sunday in a tweet quoted Vijayan as saying that he would meet both state BJP President Rajasekharan and the state RSS chief and also make a public appeal for peace.
RSS worker E. Rajesh, 34, was hacked here on Saturday night. He died at a private hospital.
The police has arrested eight persons who were involved in the crime and are on the lookout for two more.
Meanwhile, the Congress party held a meeting here on Monday condemning the “blood bath” being resorted to by the two parties (CPI-M and BJP-RSS). Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the two parties are hand in glove and that’s the reason why the media was chased away.
“It’s ironic that Vijayan held peace talks, after sending out his cadres to commit murder,” said Chennithala.