- "70-80 wounds on his body": Arun Jaitley after he met RSS worker's family
- RSS worker Rajesh Edavakode died in hospital after his arm was chopped
- Mr Jaitley alleged rival political workers' involvement in the murder
"Every time the LDF is in power, incidents of violence increase," Mr Jaitley said, adding, "The kind of wounds that were inflicted on Rajesh would even have embarrassed terrorists."
Rajesh Edavakode, 34, died in hospital after his arm was chopped off. His death came during a row over escalating political violence where rival groups of CPM and RSS workers had targeted each other.
Mr Jaitley's visit was marked by a protest held by the families of killed CPM workers, who demanded the minister visit them too.
"I visited the kin of our deceased karyakarta Rajesh who was slaughtered in the most barbaric manner," Mr Jaitley told reporters after meeting the family. "He didn't provoke anyone. And yet like in cinema... 70-80 wounds on his body."
Accusing "rival political workers" of being involved in the murder, Mr Jaitley also blamed the state government for failing to control the violence. The Union Minister also insisted that the state police was a "silent spectator" when RSS and BJP workers were attacked and killed.
"Governments are elected to improve quality of life of people, to make sure the environment of violence is not perpetuated... But what has happened in last few months is an ongoing saga of violence," he said.
The BJP, he said, won't be suppressed by these tactics. "Those who perpetuate violence, must remember that our organisation, our political party and other sympathetic organisations have survived through generations despite these kinds of assaults which have befallen us," he said condoling Mr Edavakode's death.
As the Left-led government called an all-party meet in the state capital, the CPM hit back. An open letter by CPM Parliamentarian MB Rajesh posted on his Facebook read: "Statistics about different crimes will tell you if Kerala is better off, or Uttar Pradesh or Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat are, where your party is in power. An official reply to a question placed in the UP state assembly on 18.07.2017 which revealed a shocking figure of '729 murders' and '803 rapes' in just two months since Yogiji came to power hasn't created any media outcry! Nobody is bothered about failed states..."
Reacting to it, Mr Jaitley said, "Had this happened in a BJP-ruled state there would have been protests."
Mr Edavakode was allegedly killed by a gang, which the BJP and his family allege, is linked to the CPM. The police, however, have maintained that the attack was due to personal rivalry. The episode had led to an uproar in the Lok Sabha.
According to State Crime Records Bureau, since 1991, 45 CPM workers and 42 RSS-BJP workers have been killed allegedly by political rivals in Kannur. NDTV accessed police records which say 50 CPM and 44 RSS workers have been killed since 2006.
"Since Feb 2016 -July 2017, 4 CPM and 10 RSS or BJP activists have been killed," the police record said.