Row over BJP candidate’s visit to Punnapra-Vayalar memorial

A major row kicked up after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Alappuzha constituency candidate Sandeep Vachaspati paid floral tributes at the Punnapra-Vayalar martyrs’ memorial before filing his nomination papers on Friday.

After visiting the memorial at Valiyachudukadu, Mr. Vachaspati said he went there to pay tributes to the poor people who lost their lives after being deceived by communist leaders. He said it should be considered a memorial of betrayal.

Both Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) leaders hit out at the BJP candidate, terming his act as an attempt to insult the martyrs of the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising and the memorial.

CPI district secretary T.J. Anjelose said he had filed a complaint with State Police Chief Loknath Behera and District Police Chief G. Jaidev demanding action against the BJP leader. Mr. Anjelose said Mr. Vachaspati’s candidacy had already been rejected by the people and he visited the memorial to get attention. The BJP leadership should make their stance clear on the issue, the CPI leader said.

CPI(M) leaders said it was a deliberate attempt to disrupt the law and order situation.

Jointly maintained

The memorial is maintained jointly by the CPI and the CPI(M). Leaders of communist parties said the BJP candidate entered the memorial after breaking open the gate.

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