UJJAIN/NEW DELHI/KOCHI/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM -- An RSS functionary today sparked an uproar when he announced a ₹1 crore bounty for beheading Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, drawing condemnation from the Sangh fountainhead, CPI(M) and Congress.
Vijayan, however, dismissed the threat to his life, saying such calls would not prevent him from travelling around, while Kerala's ruling CPI(M) and Congress sought the arrest of the RSS functionary for his outrageous comments.
"The RSS in the past has taken the heads of others but I have to move around, and I will," Vijayan, who took power in May last year, said in his characteristic style and broke into a laugh.
Kundan Chandravat, 'Sah Prachar Pramukh' of RSS in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain, announced the reward to avenge the killing of its workers in Kerala, allegedly by CPI-M workers.
"The Kerala Chief Minister is killing our RSS workers who want to take this country forward. I will pay ₹1 crore to anyone who beheads him even if I have to sell my house," Chandravat was seen saying in a video, which went viral.
The statement was made at Ujjain in the presence of BJP MP Chintaman Malviya, BJP MLA Mohan Yadav and other RSS leaders. The video of the RSS leader has gone viral.
In his speech, Chandrawat warned that the RSS would respond to the killing of its 300 activists by presenting a "garland of 300,000 skulls" to "Bharat Mata" and said, "Leftists, beware".
"300 innocent people (belonging to the RSS) have been killed but Kerala Chief Minister has turned a blind eye to it," he claimed at the function.
He also boasted that for the killing of 59 Hindus at Godhra in Gujarat in 2002, "we sent 2,000 (Muslims) to the graveyard".
"Is there no courage in the blood of Hindus? I, Dr Kundan Chandravat announce from this stage that as I have property, the house alone is worth more than ₹1 crore and I have the guts. I will transfer it to anybody from Ujjain who beheads him and brings his (Vijayan's) head to me," he said in brazen remarks which did not go down well with even the RSS.
"We sent 2,000 (Muslims) to the graveyard".Kundan Chandravat
The RSS was quick to distance itself from Chandravat's remarks.
"The RSS strongly condemns such statements. The Sangh does not believe in violence. But we will continue to protest against attacks on our workers in Kerala in a democratic and peaceful manner," the organisation's national 'Sah Prachar Pramukh' (joint chief of publicity) J Nandakumar told PTI in Delhi.
Kumar, who is a top functionary in the RSS's propaganda wing, said he does not know who Chandravat was.
Even the Kerala units of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) distanced themselves from Madhya Pradesh RSS leader.
Kerala BJP leader A.N. Radhakrishnan denounced the Madhya Pradesh RSS leader's statement.
"The BJP believes in democracy even when hundreds of its workers have been killed. Everyone knows who are the ones who shield murderers and the CPI-M even has a minister charged in a murder case," he said.
"Sangh Parivar has chopped off heads of many. That won't prevent us from travelling around," Vijayan told reporters in Kochi, dismising the threat to his life.
Later in a Facebook post, Vijayan said he rejected the threat with "contempt".
"In Madhya Pradesh, a Sangh parivar leader has declared a reward for Pinarayi Vijayan's head. I saw this news report. RSS has indulged in murders in several places. Just because of that, it is not possible for us not to walk on roads.
"I dismiss with contempt the 'kolaveli' (murder call) of RSS," Vijayan said.
Hitting out at the Sangh, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted that Chandravat's comments "revealed true colours of RSS as a terrorist outfit".
Yechury also questioned the "silence" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government over the remarks.
The CPI-M said in a separate statement: "The frustration of RSS is coming out in the open. Will the BJP government in (Madhya Pradesh) and at the Centre take action?"
The Left party announced protests on Friday across Kerala and demanded that a case be registered against Chandrawat on terrorism charges.
CPI-M Kerala Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the RSS won't be able to "remove even a hair of Vijayan" and warned the organisation "not to play with the CPI-M".
"If they do, then we will be forced to teach them certain things."
Opposition leader and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the RSS leader should be immediately arrested.
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