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Now, KPCC charm offensive to woo Ezhava voters in state

Published: 08th August 2016 04:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2016 04:52 AM   |  A+A-

ALAPPUZHA: With the state Congress facing the very real threat of dominant Ezhava community deserting the party  en masse,  Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has come up with plans to appease the community.

As part of the charm offensive, the KPCC has decided to celebrate the centenary year of  Sreenarayana Guru’s epoch-making declaration which sought to tear asunder the restrictions imposed by caste.

And state Congress president V M Sudheeran will inaugurate the meeting to be held as part of the celebrations at Kollapillil Temple in Kalavamkodam near Cherthala, where Guru had installed a mirror a good 100 years ago. K C Venugopal, MP, will preside over the function scheduled for 10 am on Sunday.

DCC president A A Shukkoor said the aim of the Congress was to highlight Guru’s teachings, which had    become even more relevant today, as divisive forces out to polarise the society along the communal lines had emerged on the political landscape.

The state Congress will give maximum publicity to the  dictums of Guru, with various programmes to be staged across the state as part of the centenary celebrations of the declaration, the DCC chief said.

Further, Shukkoor said the programmes to be organised by the state Congress as part of the celebrations would be announced at the meeting. Underscoring the added significance of Guru’s teachings, the DCC chief alleged that while the religious fundamentalists attempted to destroy the country’s secular fabric, the CPM was engaged in efforts to divide the people. 

Congress leaders, on their part, said the move was part of the efforts to woo the SNDP, which represents Ezhavas, back into the party fold.  In May’s Assembly elections, SNDP chief Vellapally Natesan’s Bharath Dharma Jana Sena party had undermined the Congress candidates’ victory prospects in several seats, where Ezhavas were a decisive presence,  by eating into the Congress’ votes. And the poll outcome left no-one in doubt regarding Ezhavas’ political clout.

Not only that, the state Congress brass realised that the party’s ambivalent stance-- it had gone soft on Vellappally-- cost it dearly at the hustings. Added to this, the BJP-NDA was sniping at its heels, jockeying for space as the real Opposition. A tad belatedly, it dawned on the Congress that until and unless it took steps to curry favour with Ezhavas, it would be staring down the barrel.

Meanwhile, an SNDP leader said the Congress or the UDF never found time to uphold Guru’s teachings. According to him, the decision to hold the  celebrations at Cherthala, a stronghold of the SNDP  and Vellappally, was intended to derive political mileage.

Interestingly, Vellappally hailed the Congress’ move while pointing out that none of the parties found it necessary to advocate the teachings of Sreenarayana Guru. And  he added that the SNDP welcomed the Congress’ decision.



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