‘Modi just a tool of RSS,’ says former minister K P Unnikrishnan

"This election is not to discuss the Pinarayi government. I’m surprised to see Congress and CPM fighting here," he said in a conversation with TNIE’s Lakshmi Athira on national and state politics.
Former union minister K P Unnikrishnan with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Former union minister K P Unnikrishnan with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. File photo.

Do you think Rahul Gandhi can pose a serious challenge to Narendra Modi?

I can’t say that since I don’t belong to the Congress now. Rahul needs to prove his leadership quality in this election. Bharat Jodo Yatra was a good idea to reach out to the people. It did attract crowds in many places. Beyond that, I can’t predict his chances in this election.

What are the chances of the INDIA bloc? Do you think it is a viable alternative to the NDA?

It’s not good to predict now. First of all, I don’t know anything called the NDA. It’s only BJP, and the BJP itself is a projection of the RSS. BJP does what RSS wants (it to do). Even Modi is a tool of RSS. The Sangh parivar fountainhead chose a political backbencher, Modi, over Advani to become the prime minister to manipulate the public.

Is there any possibility of someone outside the Nehru family emerging as the leader of Congress? Does Shashi Tharoor stand any chance?

Even the usage, Nehru family, is overdone. How many current members of the family have seen Nehru? Congress is a very difficult party. I’m surprised that Shashi Tharoor managed to become part of the working committee, but it’s a positive development for him. His approach to politics is unique. It is very difficult to predict his chances.

The role of left parties has been shrinking in India over the years. What can they do in the changed scenario?

Except in Kerala their role is very limited. They were very powerful in Bengal during the time of Jyoti Basu. As a leftist, I would like to see my political ideals gain ground. However, I don’t believe they stand much of a chance in the current political climate. I doubt the Left will perform well in this election in Kerala either. Congress is likely to win most seats, possibly one or two fewer than the last term.

Is there any anti-incumbency factor against Pinarayi government in Kerala? How do you evaluate the performance of the LDF government?

This election is not to discuss the Pinarayi government. I’m surprised to see Congress and CPM fighting here. Issues are different in parliament election. They have to focus on fighting the BJP and defending the Constitution of India. It is not relevant in this election, but still, I think the second Pinarayi Vijayan government is a failure.

Vadakara is said to be the most political of all constituencies...is that so?

Vadakara is a highly enlightened area right from the freedom movement. Both the Congress and the CPM have roots there. I have great regards for Shailaja teacher, but unfortunately, I doubt she can pull it off. I think Shafi has attracted the public. There are unprecedented crowds in all his campaigns. I’m surprised how he got all this support from Vadakara so quickly.

K Muraleedharan has been shifted to Thrissur. Will it help Congress?

The current political scenario in both Vadakara and Thrissur proves it to be a right move from the Congress. I think Muraleedharan has a good chance in Thrissur. He has many personal connections there. The Christian votes from Kunnamkulam and Thrissur town will obviously go to the Congress. I only know the BJP candidate Suresh Gopi as an actor.

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