Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 18 (PTI) A day after his release from jail on bail, Youth Congress (YC) state president Rahul Mamkootathil on Thursday said that protests against the ruling Left in Kerala would be intensified and warned that it was "the beginning of the end of the Pinarayi Vijayan government".
Mamkootathil said that the YC was taking up the responsibility to lead the youth in the state to free the people from the present Left government and no amount of arrests or assaults on them would deter them from taking this protest forward.
"In fact, we have decided to fill up the jails. Even if they arrest us for the harshest of offences, we will not take a step back from our protests," he said while speaking at a press briefing here.
He also had a warning for Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, saying the CM should realise that "all those autocrats who tried to silence the voice of the opposition have been rejected by the people".
"In any way, this is the beginning of the protest to free the people from this government. This is the beginning of the end of the Pinarayi Vijayan government," the YC leader said.
Mamkootathil also challenged CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan to prove that he submitted fake medical documents in court as claimed by the veteran Left leader.
He also invited Govindan to visit the private medical hospital, where he had availed treatment, and examine the medical records and CCTV footage to verify whether the YC leader was admitted there.
"I do not want any medical immunity or benefits from this government. In fact I told my lawyer right from the start that I do not want bail on medical grounds. When I am protesting, I am not afraid to be arrested or go to jail," he said.
The YC leader further said that it was the prosecution which first raised his medical treatment in court as a reason for not arresting him earlier.
Mamkootathil said that after the protest march to the Secretariat on December 20, 2023 he was in Thiruvananthapuram for several days, visited the Cantonment police station several times, even went to Poojappura jail to meet his party colleagues, but was not arrested even though he was an accused in the FIR registered in connection with the agitation.
"We only criticised the manner in which I was arrested. I was arrested when I went home. Which political leader has been arrested from his home for holding a protest march?" he questioned.
Mamkootathil also criticised the Left government's outreach programme -- Nava Kerala Sadas -- saying that the CM and his cabinet colleagues travelled across the state in an "extravagant bus" at a time when welfare pensions had not been paid for several months, price of commodities and amenities were on the rise and farmers were committing suicides.
"Whom has the Nava Kerala Sadas benefitted?" he asked.
Mamkootathil was released on bail from the Poojappura prison on Wednesday night more than a week after he was arrested and jailed for allegedly leading the violent attacks during a recent protest march to the state secretariat.
The state president of the Youth Congress was released from prison around 9 pm yesterday after he got bail in all the four cases registered against him in connection with the protest marches to the Secretariat and also the DGP's office.
Mamkootathil was arrested on January 9 from his home in Pathanamthitta district and transported by road to Thiruvananthapuram.
The very same day he was remanded to judicial custody till January 22 by a court here.
His arrest had led to protests by the Youth Congress across the state for several days.
The Youth Congress march to the Secretariat, organised last month, aimed to draw attention to the alleged attacks on its workers by police and activists of the youth outfit of the ruling CPI(M) during the state government's Nava Kerala Sadas programme, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI HMP HMP ROH