Election day ‘arson attack’ takes new turn
The investigation into “arson attack” on the car of Independent candidate from the Kundara Assembly constituency Shiju Varghese on polling day on April 6 appeared to have taken a turn on Wednesday.
The State police detained him from Goa on suspicion of staging the assault to stoke voter sympathy. Mr. Varghese had induced a stir by alleging early on polling day that unknown individuals had waylaid him and torched his automobile.
The incident had occurred at Kannanelloor. However, the police reportedly discovered no corroborative proof. When pressed in regards to the case, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan mentioned the police would unravel the thriller behind the fire-raising.
The case had political ramifications. Mr. Varghese had pitted himself towards Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma, the CPI(M) candidate in Kundara, allegedly in a match of pique towards the federal government.
Mr. Varghese, who “headed” the US-based business fishing agency, EMCC International, had claimed to have struck an settlement with the federal government to construct 400 deep-sea trawlers and 7 motherships to reap the State’s marine wealth.
His “revelation” through the election marketing campaign threatened to dent the LDF’s standing amongst conventional fisherfolk. Fishers have been a crucial demographic within the State. They have considered trawlers as a risk to their livelihood. The Latin Catholic Church slammed the federal government’s alleged proposal.
The Congress and the BJP seized Mr. Varghese’s phrases to place the LDF on the backfoot. Both events made the controversy a marketing campaign situation.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala mentioned the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) beneath Mr. Vijayan had allowed the agency to false flag their fishing operations by agreeing to construct the trawler fleet in India and crew it with native fishers. He alleged that the federal government had coated for the overseas agency to loot the State’s marine wealth.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan mentioned the Indian consulate in New York had warned the federal government that EMCC was a “paper company.”
Mr. Vijayan later mentioned the federal government’s association with EMCC was merely exploratory. The KSINC had blindsided the federal government by signing a preliminary pact with EMCC International. It had contravened the federal government’s fisheries coverage and advantaged the forces eager on inflicting disaffection amongst fisherfolk with the administration. The Chief Secretary was investigating the matter.