Pinarayi Vijayan said a hartal is the last word of democratic protest. (File)
In a scathing attack on BJP-RSS over the recent violence on the Sabarimala issue, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Monday said the Left government would not be cowed down by threats and intimidation and that the saffron party had "no strength for it now."
Addressing a press conference, he also said that the CPI(M)-led LDF government would take stringent action against BJP-RSS activists who had unleashed violence in the name of the January 3 hartal and the violence that followed.
The hartal was called in protest against the entry of two women of menstruating age into the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.
Mr Vijayan said a cabinet meeting Monday decided to bring in an ordinance, the ''Kerala Prevention of Damage to Private Property Act,'' to prevent destruction of private property during hartals.
The Sangh forces, led by the BJP, had tried to destroy the law and order situation in Kerala and the perpetrators would not get any protection in the state as they received in the north, he said.
"The violence in Kerala was a pre-planned agenda of the Sangh forces led by the party which rules the country. They (BJP-RSS) wanted to implement several other plans under the guise of the violence.
They are now coming up with the charge that law and order in Kerala has collapsed because their plans did not work out and Kerala continues to be the same even after the violence," he said.
The Chief Minister was replying to a question on BJP M P Nishikant Dubey''s demand in the Lok Sabha, seeking dismissal of the Kerala government over the Sabarimala violence,alleging that the ruling CPI(M) was practising "politics of murder" and many BJP workers were its victim.
"Are you saying that action should not be taken against those who unleashed violence? You can tell the same to other states…do not try to intimidate us.The time for intimidation is over and BJP has no strength for it right now," he said.
"In other states, when you (sangh parivar) unleash violence, no action is taken and even those who commit daylight murders are also not brought to book", he said,adding that such people would not get protection in Kerala.
Quoting figures, he said Sangh activists were behind 92 per cent of violent incidents witnessed by the state in the recent days.
The Sangh Parivar had triggered all violence, especially at Thalassery in Kannur, where the house of CPI(M) MLA AN Shamseer was attacked, he said.
The attackers had not even spared even an MLA, media personnel and party offices during the violence as part of the Sabarimala hartal, he said.
Slamming the BJP-RSS for calling a hartal over the Sabarimala women's entry issue, Mr Vijayan said a hartal is the last word of democratic protest, but calling for it every week amounted to ridiculing it.
However, the Chief Minister said his government had no plans to bring in any legislation to regulate hartals now.
To a question on the total number of women who had offered worship at the Sabarimala temple so far, he said he did not have the exact figures.
Kerala had witnessed large-scale violence since January 2 when two women in the menstruating age offered worship at the Sabarimala temple.
Vijayan said devotees have started coming for darshan at the Sabarimala temple, which showed there were no law and order issues.
Echoing similar views, CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the BJP-led-NDA government at the Centre did not have the strength to dismiss the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
The centre should first dismiss the Uttar Pradesh government led by Yogi Aditiyanath as communal clashes were increasing day by day there, he told reporters later, adding that in 2017, that state had witnessed 195 communal clashes.
According to police, 2182 cases have been registered in connection with the violence unleashed in Kerala and 6711 people have been arrested till noon Monday.
Of the arrested, while 5817 have been granted bail, 894 persons have been remanded, it said.