THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Barely hours after the state government moved a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), becoming the first state to challenge it in the Supreme Court along with other plaintiffs, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday said that it would not join hands with LDF in the fight against the CAA as the chief minister has tried to take advantage of the fight by portraying the UDF as a divided house over joint fight against the CAA.
In fact, it was the UDF which first put forth the idea of a joint protest to communicate the message that Kerala was united in this issue. But the chief minister has unilaterally gone ahead with its campaign by creating an impression that UDF is divided over this issue.
Hence the UDF has decided to go ahead with its protest programme and Rahul Gandhi will lead the anti-CAA protests of the Congress in the state in February, he said in Delhi.
The shift in the Congress strategy has come as a major boost for the stance taken by the KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran who first flagged that the UDF would not hold hands with the CPM-led front in the fight against CAA saying CPM was a fascist party.
This had created a storm in the party with former chief minister Oommen Chandy and senior leaders like V D Satheeshan aligning with Ramesh, and leaders like former KPCC chiefs V M Sudheeran and K Muraleedharan openly supporting the stance taken by Mullappally.
It was construed that a section of Congress leaders had taken the stance of joint protest in order to appease Muslim League, while the opposite camp was well aware of the backlash it would have to face if it goes ahead with the CPM in the fight against the CAA.
The division in the Congress camp was visible in the protest programmes it organised in the state with leaders taking pots shots at each other.