KPCC chief K Sudhakaran’s alleged “pro-RSS” remarks continued to ripple Kerala’s politics on Tuesday as the Indian Union Muslim League, one of the main partners of the Congress-led UDF, said it would raise the issue. would raise at the next front meeting .
Meanwhile, the ruling CPI(M) accused the comments were part of attempts to force a truce with the right-wing group and the BJP.
Amid growing criticism from the IUML and the Marxist party, the Congress announced that it would never dilute or compromise its secular stance and that the party would only uphold Nehruvian ideologies in the southern state.
Responding to the controversy, BJP state president K Surendran said that the congress leaders and activists were “uncertain” and that Sudhakaran’s statements reflected the “uncertainty” in their thoughts and feelings.
Though he said he did not invite the PCC chief to the BJP, the leader said the saffron party is the only option for the congress leaders and his cadres as it would be forever over in the country at the next Lok Sabha polls.
Rejecting the BJP chief’s statements that his thoughts are with the saffron party, the KPCC president issued a statement calling it “foolishness” and saying those who heard may not have stopped laughing.
“The foolishness of Surendran to invite congressional activists to BJP is dismissed with justifiable contempt,” he said, adding that no real congressman would go with BJP in his lifetime and even after his death his memories against the saffron party would remain to speak.
In the statement, he also accused both the BJP and CPI(M) of ‘joining hands’ to unleash a campaign against him by initiating and distributing some parts of his speech.
Sudhakaran had said on Monday that India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a great leader who had shown his “magnanimity” by including RSS leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in his cabinet.
The congress leader also recently sparked controversy by saying that when he was part of the congress (the organization) decades ago, he had sent his men to “provide protection” for some RSS shakhas in the state.
IUML General Secretary PMA Salam expressed displeasure with the comments saying such statements would divert attention from the real problems faced by the people of the state and create hurdles in steps to strengthen the opposition front .
He also said his party would vigorously raise the issue at the next UDF meeting.
“We believe Sudhakaran’s statements have damaged the UDF. The IUML wants the UDF to be strong and united in the state. We have no choice but to say that such unnecessary statements will create hurdles in efforts to strengthen the UDF,” he said.
He noted that the IUML has a clear position on such issues and said they would raise it within the UDF on the relevant platforms.
CPI(M) Secretary of State MV Govindan criticized Sudhakaran for his alleged ‘pro-RSS’ remarks and claimed that he had tried to portray the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a person who had joined the fascist forces.
The KPCC chief tried to list the names of congressional leaders since Nehru who had allegedly called for a ceasefire with the right-wing group, he said.
The image of the Congress party deliberately trying to negotiate a truce with the RSS was revealed by Sudhakaran’s statement, he said during a speech here.
Govindan also said that the other coalition partners in the UDF, such as the IUML and RSP, have a responsibility to make their position clear on the leader’s statement.
However, BJP head of state Surendran criticized the IUML’s statement against Sudhakaran, saying it was trying to leave the UDF and join hands with the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF in the name of the “pro-RSS” remarks.
He also accused the IUML of “imposing its dominance” in the UDF and said upper caste congressional leaders faced similar threats and criticism from them.
Who was the IUML to decide what Congress leaders should speak? he asked.
“Congress leaders feel insecure not only in Kerala, but across India. Several PCC chiefs and prominent party leaders have already joined the BJP. How long can they play politics under Sonia Gandhi?”
Surendran also said that if his party held power in the southern state, more congress leaders would have already joined the BJP.
However, the leader of the opposition in the Assembly, VD Satheesan, dismissed the criticism, saying the Congress would never be willing to water down or compromise its secular stance.
Congress would continue to enforce Nehruvian ideologies in the state and it was also decided in the recent Chintan Shivir, he said adding that the party would not accept anything anyone thinks or says against this.
The Congress and the UDF were the first party and front in history to dare declare that they do not need the vote of any communalist, the LoP added.
Sudhakaran made the controversial remarks against Nehru while addressing a children’s day program organized by the Kannur DCC to celebrate Nehru’s birthday, days after announcing that he had provided shelter to RSS ‘shakhas’ decades ago, much to the chagrin of the Muslim League.
CK Sreedharan, a former KPCC vice president and senior congress leader, left the party on Tuesday in protest of Sudhakaran’s recent comments on the RSS.
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