The alleged “pro-RSS” remarks by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief K Sudhakaran continued to create ripples in Kerala politics on Tuesday, 15 November, as the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), one of the key partners of the Congress-led UDF, said they would raise the issue in the next front meeting.
Meanwhile, the ruling CPI(M) charged that the remarks were part of attempts to call for a truce with the right-wing outfit and the BJP.
Amidst mounting criticism from the IUML and the Marxist party, the Congress was forced to announce that it would never dilute or compromise on its secular position and the party would go ahead only upholding Nehruvian ideologies in the southern state.
Responding to the controversy, BJP state president K Surendran said the leaders and activists of the Congress were “insecure” and Sudhakaran’s statements reflected the ‘uncertainty’ in their minds and feelings.
Though he said he was not inviting the PCC chief to the BJP, the leader said the saffron party is the only option for the Congress leaders and its cadres as it would be over forever in the country by the next Lok Sabha polls.
Rubbishing the statements of the BJP chief that his mind is with the saffron party, the KPCC president issued a statement terming it as “foolishness” and said those who heard it might have not stopped laughing yet.
No real Congress man would go to BJP: Sudhakaran
“Surendran’s foolishness to invite Congress activists to the BJP is dismissed with deserved contempt,” he said adding that no real Congress man would go with the BJP in his life, and even after death, his memories would continue to speak against the saffron party.
In the statement, he also accused both the BJP and the CPI (M) of ‘joining hands’ to unleash a campaign against him by taking off and propagating some portions of his speech.
Sudhakaran on Monday, 14 November, had said that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was a great leader who had shown his “magnanimity” to include RSS leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in his Cabinet.
The Congress leader also recently courted controversy by saying that when he was part of the Congress (Organisation) decades ago, he had sent his men to “give protection” to some RSS shakhas in the state.
IUML wants UDF to be united: PMA Salam
Expressing displeasure over the remarks, IUML general secretary PMA Salam said such statements would divert attention from the real issues being faced by the people of the state and would create hurdles in the moves to strengthen the opposition front.
He also said his party would strongly raise the issue in the next UDF meeting.
“We believe that Sudhakaran’s statements have created damage to the UDF. The IUML wants the UDF to be strong and united in the state. We have no option but to say that such unnecessary statements will create hurdles in the attempts to strengthen the UDF,” he said.
Noting that the IUML has a clear stand on such issues, he said they would raise it on the platforms concerned within the UDF.
Sudhakaran trying to portray Nehru as a fascist: MV Govindan
Slamming Sudhakaran for his alleged “pro-RSS” remarks, CPI (M) state secretary MV Govindan alleged that he had tried to portray the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a person who had aligned with the fascist forces.
The KPCC chief tried to list the names of the Congress leaders since Nehru who had allegedly called for a truce with the right-wing outfit, he said.
The picture of the Congress party, which is deliberately attempting to make a truce with the RSS, was exposed through Sudhakaran’s statement, he said while speaking at a function here.
Govindan also said the other coalition partners in the UDF like the IUML and RSP have the responsibility to spell out their stand on the leader’s statement.
BJP state chief Surendran, however, criticized the IUML’s statement against Sudhakaran, saying it was trying to quit 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 the Congress leaders belonging to the upper caste were facing similar threats and criticism from them.
Who was the IUML to decide what the Congress leaders should speak? he asked.
“Congress leaders are feeling insecure not just in Kerala, but across India. Several PCC chiefs and prominent party leaders have already joined the BJP. How long can they play politics under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi?,” he further asked.
Surendran also said if his party had power in the southern state, more Congress leaders would already have joined the BJP.
Congress is always secular: VD Satheeshan
However, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly VD Satheesan rubbished the criticism and said the Congress would never be ready to dilute or compromise on its secular position.
The Congress would go ahead upholding Nehruvian ideologies in the state and it had been decided in the recent Chintan Shivir also, he said adding that the party would not accept anything that anyone thinks or says against this.
The Congress and the UDF were the first party and the front in history which dared to declare that they did not need the vote of any communalist, the LoP added.
Sudhakaran made the controversial remarks against Nehru while addressing a Children’s Day programme organised by the Kannur DCC to celebrate the birth anniversary of Nehru, days after making a disclosure that he had protected to RSS ‘shakhas’ decades ago, irking the Muslim League.
Adding to the woes of the Congress party, CK Sreedharan, a former KPCC vice-president and senior congress leader, on Tuesday, 15 November, quit the party in protest against Sudhakaran’s recent remarks on the RSS.
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