The Congress has expelled former legislator A P Abdullakutty after he said that the BJP’s mandate was a recognition of the development agenda and diplomacy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who gave a touch of Gandhian values to the previous regime.
Abdullakutty had joined the Congress in 2009 after being expelled by the CPM for exhorting the LDF-ruled Kerala government to emulate the development model of then Gujarat CM Modi.
He was a CPM MP from 1999 to 2009. After joining the Congress, he won an Assembly bypoll in 2009 and the Assembly election in 2011. He had been sulking after the Congress did not give him a ticket for Lok Sabha polls.
In a Facebook post on May 28, Abdullakutty said Modi could win again due to the development initiatives targeted at the lowest strata of society. “Our politics is slowly changing and henceforth, success is for developmental agenda,” he said. The Congress sought an explanation from the leader, who did not change his stand and asked the party to change its approach. Congress’s Kerala president Mullappally Ramachandran on Monday said
Abdullakutty was expelled from the party with immediate effect. His controversial statements have damaged the party and shown it in poor light in society, he added.
Abdullakutty said it is sad that the Congress could not take criticism from party workers despite such a debacle. “There is no question of going back to Congress. I had backed Modi only on development. In 2009, I was sacked from CPM on the charge of praising Modi’s model of development. We later saw the CPM embracing the same developmental agendas in Kerala. Time will prove that my stand is right,” he said.
There have been reports that Abdullakutty will join the BJP and contest as its candidate in Manjeshwar, where an Assembly bypoll is to be held. BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai said Abdullakutty’s courage to praise Modi deserves a pat. “It is up to the party to decide on taking Abdullakutty into the party fold,” he said.