Islamic fundamentalists backed by Congress block Defence Minister Niramala Sitharaman's roadshow in Thiruvananthapuram
Govindankutty from Thiruvananthapuram
In a shocking incident, communally charged Islamic fundamentalists blocked Nirmala Sitharaman's roadshow in Poonthura, a Muslim dominated area of Thiruvananthapuram district on April 17 evening.
Defence Minister was campaigning for NDA candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan, taking out a road show along the coastal area of the Lok Sabha constituency. When the rally entered Poonthura, a group of Islamic fundamentalists blocked the road and shouted anti-BJP slogans without any reason. It has led to a confrontation between the communally charged mob and the BJP workers that lasted for more than an hour. The rally was initially planned to traverse around 40 km until Pozhiyoor. As tension mounted in the area, BJP leaders were forced to end the campaign halfway at Poonthura by around 10 p.m. Poonthura is a strong-hold of Congress' ally Muslim League and other Islamic fundamentalist outfits.
The rally commenced from Veli at 8.30 p.m and Niramala Sitharaman joined the convoy at Valiyathura. Despite the delay, many people gathered on the roadside to catch a glimpse of the Minister, who proceeded on an open jeep. Nirmala Seetharam had earlier visited Poonthura when the region was hit by Okchi cyclone. The local residents and media had hailed her timely intervention when the state government failed to take the people in confidence during the calamity. The local BJP leaders alleged that it was handiwork of Congress. The violence was purportedly created to stop Nirmala Sitaraman from visiting the Okchi victims.
BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan is contesting against Congress' Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, where Shashi is trailing in the election campaign after a group of local Congress workers refused to cooperate with him.