Union Minister V Muraleedharan alleges attack by CPIM ‘goons’ during election campaign

Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, has raised serious allegations of intimidation and attempted assault during his election campaign in Kerala’s Attingal constituency. Taking to X, the minister shared a video claiming that individuals associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) threatened and attempted to attack his campaign vehicle.

| Updated: 11 April, 2024 11:55 am IST
Union Minister V Muraleedharan Alleges Attack by CPIM 'Goons' During Election Campaign

NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, has raised serious allegations of intimidation and attempted assault during his election campaign in Kerala’s Attingal constituency. Taking to X, the minister shared a video claiming that individuals associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) threatened and attempted to attack his campaign vehicle.

In the video shared on X, Muraleedharan asserted that CPIM “goons” targeted him and his campaign team, reflecting the heightened political tensions in the region. The incident reportedly occurred during a campaign rally in Attingal, where Muraleedharan is contesting as the NDA candidate. He said, “I will not be intimidated by the goons of @CPIMKerala who threatened me during the campaign & even attempted to attack the campaign vehicle @CPIMKerala is worried by the massive response to @BJPIndia in Kerala and is resorting to such attempts to threaten @BJP4India candidates. The State of Kerala, especially #Attingal has decided to reject this “Politics of Violence Model” of the Communists”

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The incident occurred on Wednesday evening around 7:15 pm at Kottiyam Mukku in the Pallikal Grama Panchayat, where a group of three individuals on a motorcycle attempted to assault Minister V Muraleedharan and his entourage during their motorcade. This prompted the vehicle tour of the minister for approximately thirty minutes until the Pallikal police arrived at the scene, after which the tour resumed.

According to accounts from BJP workers, the assailants verbally abused Muraleedharan and his companions upon infiltrating the motorcade, further attempting physical harm. Moreover, BJP workers allege that the group also attempted to incite conflict by brandishing a CPM flag at Kallarakonam junction. In light of these developments, BJP leaders have expressed their intention to file a formal complaint with the Election Commission regarding the incident.

Muraleedharan’s assertion of being targeted by CPIM operatives underscores the volatile nature of electioneering in Kerala, where ideological differences often escalate into confrontational situations. Recently External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar commended V Muraleedharan, highlighting his role as a bridge between India and the Gulf region during his tenure as Minister of State. Jaishankar specifically lauded Muraleedharan’s efforts in facilitating passport issuance and his willingness to personally oversee the evacuation of Indians from conflict zones.

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In response to the allegations, the CPIM is yet to issue an official statement, leaving room for speculation and conjecture regarding the veracity of the claims made by Muraleedharan. The incident has reignited debates on the role of political violence in Indian elections, prompting calls for heightened security measures to safeguard candidates and campaigners.

As Kerala braces for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled for April 26, incidents like these serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by political parties in ensuring a free and fair electoral process. In the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency in Southern Kerala, a significant political showdown is on the horizon, featuring prominent figures including a Union minister, a sitting MP, and a state legislator.

Incumbent MP Adoor Prakash of the Congress is bracing for a competitive battle against LDF candidate V Joy, a CPI(M) MLA, and V Muraleedharan of the BJP.

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