Alappuzha: The rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Jammu has come in handy for the opponents of the BJP to embarrass it in the Chengannur by-election campaign. It may be recalled that two BJP ministers in J&K had to resign after they defended the attackers of the girl. Some posters appeared on the compound walls of the houses in Chengannur on Friday saying, “We have children aged below 10. No BJP worker is allowed to enter the house for seeking votes. #Justice for Asifa.”
But this was the signal for a poster war in the constituency. On Saturday, the BJP supporters replied with posters that read, “There is a girl aged 13. Comrades aged 40 should not come to our house asking for votes.” This was a reference to the episode involving communist leader A.K. Gopalan, who had a love affair with a minor girl. But the political parties have disowned the squiggle posters. The CPM maintains that it was a spontaneous reaction of the people to the horrific rape and murder of Jammu girl.
Irfan Ebrahim Sait, head of the new media wing of CPM in Chengannur, ruled out any party role in the viral campaign. “Many posters appeared in front of houses in rural and urban areas seeking justice for Asifa,” he said pointing fingers at the Congress Party. The BJP posters also referred to local issues, including nurses’ struggle and KSRTC pension woes. K. Soman, BJP district president, Alappuzha, said workers react when the rivals attack them. “The CPM always brags about its integrity. Is politicisation of a rape a part of its integrity?”