The CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala on Sunday said the number of cases connected with political violence has come down in 2017, a claim disputed by opposition Congress and BJP in the state.
Quoting statistics, a statement from the office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said cases connected with political clashes in 2017 was 1,463 which was 211 lesser than the previous year.
This was following effective administrative and political steps taken by the government along with peace initiatives of Chief Minister, the statement said.
Slamming the government on the issue, opposition leader in the Kerala assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the statistics put out by the government was to mislead the people. "Political clashes and murders were much more than the figures given by the government", he said.
There was a total breakdown of law and order in the state, he alleged and said "police in the state has become a mere spectator."
"The police were also not given freedom to function due to political interference," he said.
Chennithala said that a total of 20 political killings have occurred during the year.
Countering the government position, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said it was not based on statistics one should evaluate the law and order situation.
"The number of political killings was more during the year than last year. A total of 13 BJP-RSS workers were killed in the attack by CPI(M) during the year," Rajasekharan told PTI.
As per National Crime Bureau statistics, the overall crime rate in the state was higher compared to other states during the year, he said, adding, "The law and order was at its worst in the year."
"The intensity of the crime has also gone up during the year," he claimed.
Rajasekharan alleged that even after peace conference by the Chief Minister, BJP-RSS workers were targeted by ruling CPI(M) workers.
A total number of 1,463 cases of political violence were reported till December 30 this year and it was 1,674 cases in 2016, the statement from CMO said.
It said that political violence in Kannur, which has a history of repeated clashes between workers of CPI(M) and BJP-RSS has also come down.
In 2016 a total of 363 cases were registered in Kannur, while the number of cases have gone down to 271 this year, the statement said.
It claimed the political clashes decreased due to the administrative and political steps taken by the government.
It was also the result of peace effort initiated by the Chief Minister, the statement said.
The BJP's state unit took out a Jana Raksha Yatra against the increase in the alleged attacks by CPI(M) workers on its cadres after the LDF government came to power in 2016.
BJP National President Amit Shah had attended the Yatra and had alleged that whenever CPI(M) came to power in the state, political attacks against BJP-RSS activists went up.