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KL This Week: Congress Workers Arrested for Disrespecting Gandhi Portrait; CPI(M) Claims Conspiracy Against LDF Govt

Neelambaran A |
The police arrested four Congress workers, including Rahul Gandhi’s private assistant, for allegedly disrespecting a Mahatma Gandhi portrait during a protest by the SFI.
Image Courtesy: R Prakash

Image Courtesy: R Prakash

The invocation of RSS ideologue Veer Savarkar in the Independence Day speech of prime minister Narendra Modi was condemned by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan during a public meeting held by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI).

The Kerala police have arrested four Congress workers, including the private assistant of Rahul Gandhi, for disrespecting the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in the Wayanad MP’s office. 

The protests, especially by farmers, against the Supreme Court verdict on the eco-sensitive zones (ESZ) continue in several parts of the state.

After the Kerala Governor refused to approve the ordinances promulgated by the state government, the cabinet approved the bills again, including one to curtail the governor's powers in appointing university vice-chancellors. The assembly has been convened on August 22 to pass the bills.

Meanwhile, the state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, has accused the Raj Bhavan of conspiring to topple the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in the state.

The fishing community in the vicinity of the Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited (VSIL) is protesting despite fruitful talks with the government on a charter of demands. 

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed the Kerala High Court that it will not insist on Dr Thomas Isaac appearing before it for the controversy over the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Newsclick brings a round-up of the happenings across the state this week.


During his speech at the ‘Freedom Street’ event organised by the DYFI, CM Pinarayi Vijayan launched a scathing attack on the prime minister for referring to Veer Savarkar as a freedom fighter. Vijayan accused the Sangh Parivar of betraying the freedom struggle and now attempting to paint the betrayers as freedom fighters.

“We heard the PM pronouncing the name of a person as a freedom fighter. That man has a history of writing apology letters to the British to escape from the prisons. He was later accused in the murder of Gandhiji. This is how they try to create new history,” he said.

The DYFI has organised the event as part of Independence Day celebrations across the state.


The police arrested four Congress workers, including the private assistant of Rahul Gandhi, for allegedly disrespecting the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi during a protest by the members of the Students Federation of India (SFI). Congress has accused the SFI of vandalising the MP office and damaging the portrait during the protest.

The CPI(M), however, based on video evidence, claimed that the portrait remained intact even after the SFI members left the office. The SFI had also refused any role in damaging the portrait and alleged that the Congress members had disrespected the portrait for political gain.


The farmers in the state’s hilly districts continue to protest against the Supreme Court ruling on declaring ESZ around the reserve forest areas. Several farmer organisations took out protest marches and rallies on August 18, the first day of the Malayalam calendar, celebrated as ‘Farmers Day’ in the state.

The farmers have demanded that residential and agricultural areas be exempted from the buffer zone. Different farmer bodies have demanded to pass a resolution in gram sabhas seeking ‘zero buffer zone’ in inhabited areas. Protests were held in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Idukki districts.


The CPI(M) has claimed there are conspiracies to topple the LDF government through the officials in the Raj Bhavan. “They are working with an agenda for the next three years. People must come to the streets to prevent such attempts,” Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said.

While speaking at the event to inaugurate the palliative centre constructed for the benefit of the public in Thiruvananthapuram on behalf of the E K Nayanar Charitable trust, Balakrishnan called upon the CPI(M) members to fight against the challenges faced by the party. He accused the RSS of directing the activities against the government, with the Raj Bhavan playing a role in it.


The ED has reportedly sought more time to file its reply to Dr Isaac’s plea against the moves of the central agency. The ED has also informed the Kerala High Court that it will not insist on his appearance till September 2.

However, the court has refused to stay the notice of the ED issued to the KIIFB. The CPI(M) and Dr Isaac have termed the actions of the ED as politically motivated and took on the legal battle. Read More


The police, in the remand report on the murder of a CPI(M) leader in Palakkad district, have termed the suspects as RSS and BJP affiliates. The murder was politically motivated, as per the report of the police.

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