TV Debate Turns Violent, Minister Injured


Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala’s Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John and his opponent candidate from the Left Front N. Vijayan Pillai were injured on Thursday while taking part in an election debate organised by a TV channel when a group of people turned violent and pelted stones at them.

Mr John, who was admitted to a hospital in Kollam, told news agency IANS that the discussion on the TV channel had just begun and all the three main candidates were there.

Mr Pillai, a candidate of the opposition Left Democratic Front, was also injured on his legs when he was attacked with chairs. He too was hospitalised.

“After about 15 minutes, while I was replying to questions from the audience, a commotion broke out and in the melee, I was injured on my right forehand when a stone was thrown on me. There is a wound,” said Mr John.

Mr John, an engineer by profession who represents the Revolutionary Socialist Party, is contesting from Chavara assembly constituency, from where he has won twice in the past.

Chavara was earlier represented by Mr John’s father, late Baby John, a trade union leader and a minister.