KOCHI: When SNDP Yogam leader Vellappally Natesan shook hands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 1 in New Delhi, and held talks in the presence of BJP national president Amit Shah, the message was clear. Politics in the state will never be the same as it used to be after Natesan and the BJP national leadership took the great plunge by enlisting the support of RSS but keeping the party state unit at a distance. Natesan had announced plans to form a political party representing various organisations of the Hindu community. And as a prelude to it, Natesan is currently traversing Kerala with his ‘Samatva Munnetta Yatra’ (March of Equality).
While the LDF took the challenge head on, the ruling UDF has also finally woken up to the political threat of a stabilised BJP platform with the aid of SNDP in the state. Realisation has dawned upon the Congress and allies that the UDF stands to lose heavily, as the lower strata of the 80 lakh strong Ezhava community has proved that they can shift loyalties.
The CPI(M),which has its biggest support base in the Ezhava community, had sensed real trouble and launched a blitzkrieg for taking ‘an organisation founded by Sree Narayana Guru,who stood against religion and caste while championing the cause of social equality, to the stable of RSS-BJP’.
CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan has targeted Natesan by levelling charges of massive corruption in the SN Trust- owned educational institutions under him and grave irregularities in the multi-crore Micro Finance scheme run by the SNDP.
“I would approach the court against Natesan for duping thousands of poor Ezhavas enrolled in the micro-finance scheme,” said Achuthanandan. He had also upped the ante against the SNDP Yogam leader for his suspected involvement in the drowning of former Sivagiri Mutt pontiff Swami Saswathikananda.CM aspirant and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan too joined the rant against him.
The UDF and Congress have also begun to lambast Natesan for doing errands for the BJP and RSS. “The charge of Natesan against the government is a campaign unleashed by the BJP and RSS,” said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, referring to the allegations of minority appeasement.“Attempting a divide among the people is highly deplorable. Keralites are enlightened enough to see through his game. It will not work here,” said Chandy. KPCC president V M Sudheeran and and Home minister Ramesh Chennithala too are in the forefront in attacking Natesan.
march of Equality
The ‘Samatva Munnetta Yatra’ (March for Equality) led by SNDP Yogam leader Vellappally Natesan started on November 23 from Madhur in Kasargod district, Kerala. Natesan had announced the yatra after the Yogam entered into an alliance with the BJP. Natesan professes to unite all castes—from ‘Nayadi (nomads) to Namboodiri’—of the Hindu religion. But the Nair community, a prominent player in the Hindu fold, is dead opposed to Natesan. The yatra will culminate on the shores of Sanghumukham beach in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.
December 5, where the much-awaited political party of the SNDP will be announced.