Palakkad: CPI(M)’s youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) unfurled the tricolour in the Palakkad municipality office today, two days after BJP workers upon retaining a majority in the municipality displayed a banner with the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on the same building.
The incident had kicked up a row as many Keralites took to social media to voice their protest against the BJP’s action.
The hoisting of the tricolour took place after DYFI cadres in Palakkad organised a march towards the Palakkad municipality office shouting slogans like “Death to Communalism”, “Long Live Secularism”, and “Death to RSS.” The sloganeering went well after the march reached the office and the Indian flag was unveiled in the place where the ‘Jai Shree Ram’ poster stood.
The DYFI Palakkad Facebook page broadcasted the march live and in their central banner it read, “This is not a RSS office, it is a municipality office. This is not Gujarat, it is Kerala.” The second line was in reference to a BJP spokesperson calling Palakkad the “Gujarat of Kerala”, after their municipality victory there.
DYFI district secretary TM Sasi told TheNEWSMinute, “In the north, the BJP paints saffron in different places, hangs Jai Shri Ram banners, Ayodhya posters, pictures of Shivaji and Gowalker everywhere and other communal symbols, wherever they have control. But this is Kerala, and such kind of celebrations will not be tolerated by the secular people of Kerala, by the secular people of Palakkad.”
CPI(M) MLA T.K. Noushad had already filed a complaint in the municipality before the march, writing in it that the BJP workers had deliberately tried to create communal tensions with the help of BJP leaders. A written complaint was then sent to the Palakkad Town South Police by the Palakkad Municipal Secretary Balaraman.
On Friday morning, a few BJP cadres was charged with Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code. Section 153 refers to provocation with intent to cause riot.