While two Congress workers were hacked to death allegedly by the communist goons at Periya in Kasaragod, Kerala, owing to political rivalry and retaliation, the Congress in its attempt to take on BJP and the BJD in the upcoming 2019 elections has stitched up an alliance with the Communist Party and others in Odisha.
Odisha will hold assembly polls along with the general elections this year.
Two youth Congress workers Kripesh and Sarath Lal were attacked on February 17, while they were on a motorcycle. A group of unidentified people came in an SUV and stopped the duo on the road and hacked them to death, the police said. The two Congress workers were returning home after attending an event nearby, the news agency ANI reported.
#Visuals from Kerala: Two Youth Congress workers Kripesh and Sarath Lal have been hacked to death in Kasaragod by unidentified assailants. United Democratic Front (UDF) has called for a hartal in the district tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/FwlHB3MURE
— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2019
While the Congress alleged that CPM activists were behind the attack, the Congress President, Rahul Gandhi, Tweeted his condolences for the families of the victims.
The brutal murder of two members of our Youth Congress family in Kasargod, Kerala is shocking. The Congress Party stands in solidarity with the families of these two young men & I send them my deepest condolences. We will not rest till the murderers are brought to justice.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 18, 2019
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has alleged the ruling CPI(M) was responsible for the double murders. He furthered that the murder was a conspiracy hatched by the CPI(M) as the Lok Sabha elections are near.
“The CPM is trying to destroy the Congress party using goons. The youth congress activists were attacked without any provocation. They were not involved in any kind of criminal activities. No cases were there against them. The government should identify the culprits and arrest them as soon as possible,” Chennithala told reporters.
While on one hand, Congress has blamed the Communist party for this double murder, on the other hand, a grand alliance has been stitched up between Congress, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Odisha in an attempt to take on the BJP and the ruling BJD in the upcoming 2019 elections for the state assembly and the Lok Sabha.
The parties are reportedly in talks with each other and are likely to finalise seat sharing issue soon.
“In Odisha, we are in the middle of discussions for forming an alliance with Congress, CPM, and JMM. Also for the coming elections, it is more likely that Congress, CPI, CPM, and JMM fight will fight collectively in Odisha,” said CPI leader, D Raja.
“Although talks are in the process, nothing has finalised yet on seat sharing,” said the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President, Niranjan Patnaik.
It is notable here that Congress has been facing an existential crisis in Odisha. With the BJD in power for four consecutive terms in the state, many senior leaders have left Congress or jumped ship to the ruling party over the years. Recently too, senior party leader Naba Das had announced joining BJD.
Last year, Congress lad welcomed Mili Panda, the wife of dreaded Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, into its ranks in Odisha. Panda was welcomed to Congress in a grand ceremony.