After Kerala Chief Minister and senior CPI(M) politician Pinarayi Vijayan said that the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) was making decisions for the Congress party in Kerala, both Congress and Muslim League rejected CM’s allegation and accused the CM of playing the anti-Muslim card.
On Saturday, Vijayan, in a Facebook post, asked if the Muslim League has become the centre that can express opinions regarding internal matters of Congress and decide who should lead party.
Vijayan’s Facebook post was based on reports that the League has demanded the replacement of Congress Kerala unit president Mullappally Ramachandran.
“It’s rare in politics that a party’s leadership is chosen by another party. After the local body elections, Muslim League seems to be taking over the leadership of the UDF. Has the League turned out to be the one which can comment on internal affairs of the Congress party and decide who to lead that party?” CM VIjayan said.
Vijayan also said that open statements of the League and the Congress reveal that the former could convince the Congress of the alliance with religious and communal parties notwithstanding the opposition from the Congress national leadership.
“The UDF has become irrelevant and the statements of ally leaders reveal that nothing can be expected from the UDF which has lost its secularist and democratic values,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.
‘CM plays anti-Muslim card‘
At the media briefing on Saturday Opposition leader and Congress politician Ramesh Chennithala said “the CM’s Facebook post was cheap and aimed at creating communal polarisation.”
Chennithala also said the CPIM was trying to project the BJP as opposition rather than the UDF.
“This local body election proved that the BJP will not survive in Kerala. They could prove their presence only in a few pockets. The UDF still stands strong. But the CPI(M) is trying to project BJP as opposition rather than the UDF,” Chennithala added.
“It started from the time of the Sabarimala agitation. CPM strategy is to help BJP prosper at the cost of the UDF. They want the BJP to become the main Opposition,” he said.
Muslim League leaders including its state general secretary KPA Majeed said Pinarayi Vijayan’s recent remark is not very different from how Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to say that Ahmed Patel will become Chief Minister if Congress wins Gujarat.
Muslim League lawmakers also accused Pinarayi Vijayan of playing “anti-Muslim card” to woo voters from majority religion.
Responding to Vijayan’s statement, Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) convenor and senior Congress leader MM Hasan claimed Pinarayi Vijayan became the ‘merchant of communalism’ in Kerala.
“He also acts as a Sarsanghchalak,” MM Hasan said.
Sarsanghchalak is the head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Hindu militant organisation.
Welfare Party of India state unit president Hameed Vaniyambalam also took a dig at Pinarayi Vijayan and said the left leader and Kerala CM should stop spreading ‘Islamophobia.’