The BJP in Kerala alleged Wednesday that state minister and Indian National League (INL) leader Ahamed Devarkovil has links with the Rehab India Foundation which has been banned by the Centre along with the Popular Front of India (PFI), and sought his removal from the Cabinet. The minister has denied having any links to the foundation.
Addressing the media, BJP state president K Surendran said INL national president Muhammed Sulaiman is the head of Rehab India Foundation. “How can the representative of a party, which has links with a terror-funding outfit, remain a minister in the CPI(M) government? Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should sack Devarkovil from the Cabinet if the Kerala government honours the sovereignty and integrity of the country,” he said.
The terror outfit Popular Front has murdered more than a dozen of BJP/RSS karyakarthas in the state. On behalf of the family members of Balidanis, I express my sincere gratitude to the @narendramodi government for suppressing this anti-national organisation.
— K Surendran (@surendranbjp) September 28, 2022
“It is very dangerous that a representative of an outfit, which works against the country, is holding the post of minister,” Surendran added.
Meanwhile, Devarkovil, who is the national general secretary of the INL, said neither he nor his party had links with the Rehab India Foundation. “The policy of the LDF as well as its ally INL is not to have any links with extremist outfits,’’ he said.
Reacting to the allegation, INL president Sulaiman told reporters that he had been a member of the Rehab India Foundation Trust, but quit a year ago. “At present, I am not associated with the foundation and am not aware about its office-bearers.” he said.
The BJP, however, is unlikely to let go of the issue. The party has announced an agitation seeking the ouster of Devarkovil from the Cabinet.
INL is a breakaway faction of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) formed by the late parliamentarian Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait. He had quit the IUML over its moderate stand in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid. INL, backed by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) for years, was announced as an ally of the CPI(M) right before the 2021 Assembly elections.
The Rehab India Foundation is a charity outfit floated by the PFI. In June this year, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached several bank accounts linked to the foundation as part of an anti-money laundering investigation against it. Accounts of the PFI were also attached. As many 23 accounts of the PFI, having Rs 59,12,051, and 10 of the Rehab India Foundation, having Rs 9,50,030, were attached.