K Sudhakaran | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The alleged "pro-RSS" remarks by KPCC chief K Sudhakaran continued to create ripples in Kerala politics on Tuesday as Indian Union Muslim League, one of 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 make 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, however, said the leaders and activists of the Congress party 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 for ever in the country by the next Lok Sabha polls.
Sudhakaran on Monday 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.
Expressing strong displeasure over the remarks, IUML general secretary P M A 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.
Stating that the IUML has a clear stand on such issues, he said they would raise it on the platforms concerned within the UDF.
Slamming Sudhakaran for his alleged "pro-RSS" remarks, CPI (M) state secretary M V Govindan alleged that he had tried to portray the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a person who had aligned to the fascist forces.
The KPCC chief tried to list the names of the Congress leaders since Nehru who had allegedly made truce with the right wing outfit, he said.
The picture of the Congress party, which is deliberately attempting to make 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 express their stand on the leader's statement.
BJP state chief Surendran, however, criticised 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 communities 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 said.
Surendran also said if his party had power in the southern state, more Congress leaders would already have joined the BJP.
However, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D 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 his revelation that he had given protection to RSS shakhas decades ago, irking the Muslim League.
"The generous gesture he (Nehru) made to include Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, a RSS leader in his cabinet; his magnanimity to align with communal fascism...the leader who showed the nation the great values of democracy. We have to learn a lot from Nehru, we have to understand a lot from him, one has to read and learn about him to know about his mind," the KPCC chief had said.
Adding to the woes of the Congress party, C K Sreedharan, a former KPCC vice-president and senior congress leader, on Tuesday quit the party in protest against Sudhakaran's recent remarks on the RSS. PTI