Ahead of the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5, a war of words has broken out between the ruling CPM and the Opposition Congress in Kerala, each accusing the other of a nexus with the BJP.
In an article in party daily Deshabhimani on Friday, CPM state secretary and politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan wrote, “Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has become the sarsanghchalak of RSS in Kerala. Chennithala is the heartthrob of RSS. He is the son of an RSS sympathiser. That is why Congress-led UDF is maintaining silence in the Ayodhya issue.’’
Referring to the Ayodhya, triple talaq and the Citizenship Amendment Act issues, Balakrishnan alleged that the Congress has always played the “soft-Hindutva card”.
The CPM leader wrote that it was this “soft Hindu line” that made then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao support the demolition of the Babri Masjid. “Chennithala is climbing up the political ladder in the shadow of Rao’s tradition. For the Congress, BJP and IUML, their only enemy is CPI(M),’’ he wrote in the article.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be laying the foundation stone for Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5 to “paint Sri Rama in saffron and make Sri Rama a Hindu card even during this Covid-19 pandemic”.
Chennithala, the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, has stepped up his attack on the state government in the wake of a string of controversies, including the gold smuggling scandal, prompting the CPM to hit back.
Recently, Balakrishnan had stated that “what BJP says in the morning is repeated by Chennithala in the afternoon. The Opposition Congress is now implementing the RSS agenda.RSS wants Chennithala to head the UDF.’’
Defending Chennithala, Congress state president Mullappally Ramachandran said the CPM wants to divert attention from critical issues. The ruling party, he said, is now isolated from the people and has realised that it cannot retain power. Secularism is only a façade for the CPM, he said.
Congress daily Veekshanam on Friday quoted an article in the online edition of BJP mouthpiece Janmabhumi on the “RSS links” of CPM politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai.
Pillai on Friday told the media that the controversy is “unwarranted now”. “I had attended RSS till the age of 15. I became a materialist and shifted to Communism after realising that internationalism is better than nationalism,’’ he said.
Responding to the war of words between the CPM and the Congress, BJP state president
K Surendran said both the parties want to woo minority votes. “Congress and CPM have already started secret parleys in their efforts to defeat the BJP in the coming local body elections,” he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines