Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala has said that he strongly suspects that a conspiracy is on to question his secular credentials.

Reacting to the controversies triggered off by Nair Service Society (NSS) general secretary G. Sukumaran Nair’s statements related to his induction into the Chandy cabinet here on Tuesday, Mr. Chennithala, while making it clear that he would rather not engage in a row with Mr. Nair, said that as a matter of public policy, it would be in the fitness of things if social organisations and their leaders did not cross the red line in the context of the prevailing socio-political situation in the State.s

He categorically stated that he had no intention of joining the Oommen Chandy Cabinet and hoped that a reiteration of his position would end future controversies on this topic. He said he had earlier referred to his suspicion about the conspiracy angle. Now that it had become a recurring theme, his suspicion had become stronger.

He said he had cut his political tooth on the secular policies of the Congress party, and went on to become Member of Parliament and Legislature, besides holding key positions in the party, including its youth wings. He had been able to win the elections mainly on account of the unstinted support by all sections of the electorate. As KPCC president, he had been entrusted with the task of preparing the Congress and the UDF for the general elections in 2014, which was very crucial for the party. “I am determined to lead the party on a secular democratic platform,” he said.

He said leaders of social organisations were free to express their opinions. The Congress party followed the policy of accepting views that were acceptable and rejecting those that were not. It did not subscribe to belittling them or condemning their views. The current controversy has come up as a result of Mr. Nair’s speech in Thiruvanathapuram the other day. The views expressed by Mr. Nair were his own and he did not want to react to that. It was unfair to drag him into the controversy, he said. Moreover, he was currently in a key position. Replying to questions on the identity of the conspirators, Mr. Chennithala said that it was for the media to conduct an investigation. As far as he was concerned, he had a clear stand.

Mr. Chennithala also took exception to media carrying baseless news stories. He welcomed Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan’s call for an inquiry into his role in some defence deals, which are currently being investigated. He planned to move a damage suit against the newspaper which carried baseless news item.