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Comedy of errors featuring Congress, CPI(M) is on in Kerala.


Kumar Chellappan

KOCHI Aug 01 (HS) : Kerala is witnessing an unprecedented war of words between the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition Congress over the links of certain party leaders with RSS. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, State Secretary of  the CPI(M), fired the first salvo on Wednesday when he said during a press meet that Ramesh Chennithala, leader of Opposition, was an RSS activist. This was in response to Chennithala’s demand that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should quit owning moral responsibility for the wayward life of his former principal secretary M Sivsankar, who is one of the suspects in the gold smuggling case busted by Customs recently.

The demand for Vijayan’s resignation was first made by the president of the Kerala BJP K Surendran, who has been waging a relentless battle against him since the Sabarimala Temple agitation.  Chennithala denied the charges made by Balakrishnan and said the former is getting ready to present himself as the Chief ministerial candidate in the 2021 Assembly Election.

Chief Executive of an IT Company in the capital city had told Hindusthan Samachar that Chennithala has hired the services of three civil service officers (an IAS officer, an IPS officer and an IIS officer) in Kerala cadre to promote and project him as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Congress. All the three officers belong to the Nair community and he has the tacit support of Sukumaran Nair, general secretary, Nair Services Society.

Chennithala went one step further and declared that Congress was in his DNA. The next day saw   BJP mouthpiece Janmabhumi publishing  an edit page article authored by veteran RSS activist P Sreekumar stating that S Ramachandran Pillai, senior most leader of the CPI(M) polit bureau (the highest decision taking body of the party) was an RSS shikshak during his student days. Pillai, though a hardcore Marxist, is known for his exemplary behavior and respect towards leaders of other parties, a quality which is alien to his colleagues in the CPI(M), wrote Sreekumar. Sreekumar attributed Pillai’s RSS days for this character.

 The latter openly admitted that he was a former RSS activist but disclosed that he shifted his allegiance to the CPI(M) when he understood that universalism and internationalism were superior and dignified than the nationalism propagated by the RSS.

While the war of words continued between Balakrishnan and Chennithala over the RSS links, Babu, a Vihswa Hindu Parishad leader declared in a television channel debate that Balakrishnan had called on RSS leaders during the 1987 Assembly election soliciting the support of the Sangh to defeat M V Raghavan, former CPI(M) leader who had been expelled  from the party and who was contesting from Kazhakoottam assembly constituency.  Balakrishnan took the pain of getting an article written by someone in the CPI(M) and got it published in Deshabhimani, the mouthpiece of the party in which he charged Chennithala’s father was an RSS activist who was a regular in all Sangh functions.

It was Sreekumar’s turn on Saturday and he did it in style. R Shankar, Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Kerala, was a Swayamsevak at the Kollam RSS unit, wrote Sreekumar. “Not only that, Shankar accompanied NSS founder Mannathu Padmanabhan to meet Syamaprasad Mukherjee, founder leader of Jan Sangh, when the latter visited Kerala, he alleged. K Kelappan who was a president of the KPCC too was an RSS activist till his last breath. But neither RSS nor the BJP had tried even once to declare that these leaders owe their greatness to the Sangh,” wrote Sreekumar.    

 The fight is on between the Congress and the CPI(M)  with each side trying hard to dissociate itself from the Sangh while the BJP leaders are enjoying this comedy of errors between two major political outfits in the State.

Hindusthan Samachar