THIRUVANANTHAPURAM/KANNUR: Congress on Tuesday stepped up its attack on Kodiyeri Balakrishnan for his remark that leaders belonging to minorities were being sidelined in the grand-old party, even as the CPM state secretary remained unfazed by the criticism and continued to question the Congress over the issue.
Taking the lead in the counter attack, Opposition Leader VD Satheesan said the Congress in the state was well balanced and had an inclusive character. Kodiyeri was blatantly stoking communal sentiments aimed at dividing the society. “Pashanam Varkey (in Kalady Gopi’s ‘Seven Nights’ drama) used to show the pictures of Christ and Krishna in Christian and Hindu houses respectively. Kodiyeri is no different,” he said.
Satheesan alleged that Kodiyeri’s ploy was to divert the attention from the Opposition’s protest against Kannur University vice-chancellor reappointment, SilverLine project, police atrocities and goonda attacks. “Has any other politician made such blatant communal statements like this? Let Kodiyeri look at a mirror first and see how many minority leaders had been at the helm of CPM leadership.”
Meanwhile, making clear that his statements against Congress losing secular face was not an accidental one, Kodiyeri reiterated that leaders from minority communities were being sidelined in that party. While inaugurating the organising committee formation meeting in connection with the party congress to be held in April at Kannur, Kodiyeri said absence of minority leaders at the top rung of Congress was the result of Rahul Gandhi’s communal approach.
“The speech by Rahul in Jaipur that India should be ruled by Hindus is one of the most communal utterances in the recent times,” he said. “We don’t think that, it is mere coincidence that the communal equilibrium in Congress was not followed while selecting the top leaders. Rahul Gandhi had publicly said that, India should be ruled by Hindus and so the top positions in the party have been denied to Muslim leaders. This has happened at the centre too as leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid and KV Thomas have been sidelined in the party.”
Alleging that Rahul’s stand was quite similar to the one taken by RSS leader Mohan Bhagavath, Kodiyeri urged Congress leaders to denounce his Jaipur speech. Asked about the lack of representation of minority communities at the top of CPM, Kodiyeri said CPM always held aloft the ideal of secularism and whoever came at the top would follow the seculart line.