On Thursday, a case was registered against some BJP workers for unfurling banners, carrying the image of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and the slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Vande Mataram’, atop the Municipal corporation building in Palakkad.
As per reports, the incident came to light on Wednesday evening after BJP won the local body polls, securing 28 seats out of 52 in the Palakkad Municipality, Kerala. The party workers were seen unfurling two banners, one carrying the image of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with the slogan of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in Malayalam and the other carrying the image of PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah with the slogan of ‘Vande Mataram’.
At the same time, other BJP workers gathered outside the Municipality complex and celebrated the party’s victory in saffron robes and slogans of ‘Jai BJP.’ A complaint was filed with the Palakkad Town South police by the Secretary of the Municipality, Balaram, alleging an attempt to ‘destroy communal harmony.’ Similar such complaints were filed by the Congress party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader T K Noushad.
Kerala Police registers case against few BJP workers for allegedly unfurling giant banner with ‘Jai Sri Ram’ written on it from terrace of Palakkad municipal corporation building after party won in recently held local body polls— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) December 17, 2020
While speaking about the incident, SP (Palakkad) S Sujithdas informed that a case was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 153A (promoting communal disharmony) and that special branch deputy superintendent Krishnan has been asked to file a report. He said, “The special branch deputy superintendent has been asked to file a report with regard to the incident.”
Political reactions on the incident
The Congress party has alleged that the ‘act of rolling down banners’ atop the municipality building was ‘illegal.’ District Congress Committee President, VK Sreekantan, also alleged that the banners contained ‘communal content. He said, “A case has to be registered against those involved. The banners exhibited communal content. If the police hadn’t registered a case because of a lack of complaint, the Congress has lodged one with the district police chief on Thursday.”
CPI(M) leader T K Noushad also alleged that the banners were illegal and that they unfurled by the BJP workers, in collusion with the RSS. However, E Krishnadas, BJP President, had dismissed all such claims. He said that the party leadership was unaware of the actions of the workers. On learning about the incident, the BJP had directed to remove the banners.
He emphasised, “The controversy is much ado about nothing. There were more than 1,500 BJP supporters outside the counting venue. If a few had sneaked to the top of the municipal building, it was without the knowledge of the leadership. The police should have been more vigilant. As soon as the incident came to the notice of the leadership, directions were given to remove the banners. Accordingly, they were removed in a minute.”
Kerala local poll results
The CPIM-led LDF has emerged the largest coalition in gram, block and district panchayats. In a tweet, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan thank the people of Kerala for reposing faith in LDF. “We are humbled by the trust and the confidence of the people of Kerala. This is a victory for secularism and inclusive development. My warm greetings to all the elected representatives,” he said.
The CPI-M led LDF has won 7263 wards in gram panchayat, 1267 wards in block panchayat, 212 wards in district panchayat, 1167 in municipality and 207 wards in corporation. Gram panchayat has 15962 wards, block panchayat has 2080, district panchayat has 331, municipality has 3078 and corporation has 414 wards.
The BJP has also thanked people for supporting party in the civic polls. In a tweet, BJP General Secretary BL Santhosh said: “You gave us 1182 GP, 37 BP, 2 ZP, 320 Municipality, 59 Corporation wards. 25 GPs and 2 Municipalities ( Palakkad, Pandalam, main opposition in Thiruvananthapuram”