Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was in Poonthura, a Muslim dominated suburb of Thiruvananthapuram on April 17 for election campaigning when the communally charged Islamic fundamentalists blocked her roadshow, reported Organiser.
The rally started from Veli at around 8:30 pm and the defence minister joined the rally from Valiyathura. The defence minister took out a roadshow in the coastal town of Thiruvananthapuram to campaign for the NDA candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan fighting from that Lok Sabha constituency. When the rally entered Muslim-dominated Poonthura, a mob of Islamic fanatics obstructed her roadshow and raised anti-BJP slogans.
This led to a confrontation between the Muslim fundamentalists and the BJP workers accompanying N Sitharaman’s roadshow which lasted for more than an hour. The rally which was earlier planned to travel around 40 km until Pozhiyoor was forced to end mid-way due to the soaring tensions in the area. Poonthura is considered as Congress stronghold and Congress’ ally Muslim League and other Islamic fundamentalist organisations enjoy strong heft in the region.
Despite the late-evening commencement of the rally, huge swathes of crowd had gathered to cath a glimpse of the defence minister N Sitharaman, who was travelling on an open jeep. She had been to Poonthura before when the region was hit by the Okchi cyclone. The locals and regional media outlets had applauded her then for her timely intervention and the state government’s failure to kickstart relief measures when the calamity had hit the people.
Congress’ Shashi Tharoor is contesting from Thiruvananthapuram constituency against whom BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan is competing. Tharoor’s campaign had hit roadblocks when a group of local Congress workers refused to cooperate with him.