Left sees bid to gain inroads into State by influencing social organisations

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State unit president V. Muraleedharan joined issue with Left parties and social organisations over their protests against the invitation extended to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the Golden Jubilee of the Sreenarayana Dharma Meemamsa Parishad at Sivagiri on Wednesday.

Mr. Muraleedharan told a press conference here on Monday that it was for the ‘sanyasins’ of Sivagiri Math to decide whom they wanted to invite. The politicians were not competent to advise the ‘sanyasins’ on the matter.

There was a dichotomy in their approach. Those who opposed the invitation were people who argued against interference by religion in politics. However, they were trying to intervene in religious matters.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] and other parties, which were portraying Mr. Modi as one hated by the people for his communalism, were doing everything for PDP leader Abdul Nasir Maudany. People would understand their politics, he said.

There were differences of opinion within the Kerala Cabinet over Labour Minister Shibu Baby John calling on Mr. Modi, he said adding that he was not aware of any political talks having taken place between the two. Mr. Baby John was saying that he had erred in meeting Mr. Modi because of political pressure.

‘Crooked strategy’

Special Correspondent adds from Kozhikode: BJP leader P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said here on Monday that the CPI(M) was eyeing the minority vote bank. “This crooked strategy can damage the State’s social harmony. Not long ago, the CPI(M) leadership had declared it is against worshipping Sree Narayana Guru as a god. And now, CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan is demanding that the Sivagiri Math be declared out of bounds for Hindu devotees,” Mr. Pillai said.

Mr. Modi had every right to visit the Math as he was a devotee of the Guru. The revered leaders of the Mathe had every right to extend an invitation to Mr. Modi. “Communists had the dubious distinction of portraying Kumaran Asan, Sree Narayana Guru, and Vivekanadan as bourgeoisie at one time,” he said.

It was notable that CPI(M) leaders had no qualms about visiting Abdul Nasir Maudany and Sunni leader Kanathapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musaliar. He said Gujarat was home to over 8 lakh Malayalis and it was wrong to treat Mr. Modi as ‘untouchable.’ He said.

Protests mount

The organisers of the jubilee event have been inviting criticism for having invited Mr. Modi. Some perceive it as BJP’s attempts to make inroads into Kerala by influencing small parties and social organisations. Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan had turned down the invitation to attend the function.

RSP national general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan said in a statement here on Sunday that the Sreenarayana movement was being defamed by inviting Mr. Modi. Sivagiri Math was the epitome of communal amity and humanism. The action of the Math, by succumbing to external pressures, was painful to those who held Sree Narayana Guru and his movement in high regard, he said.

The party was trying to infiltrate into spiritual organisations as they could not get a foothold in South India through democratic means. The party’s secret agenda had been exposed, he said.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader C. Divakaran said Mr. Baby John should resign as Minister. His confession that he had erred in visiting Mr. Modi was not sufficient.

He had met the Gujarat Chief Minister without the permission of the Kerala government and brought disrepute to the Left and the democratic populace of the State, Mr. Divakaran said.

Pukasa call

The State committee of the Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sanghom (Pukasa) appealed to all secular and progressive cultural forces to remain vigilant against attempts to surrender the Sri Narayana movement to the Sangh Parivar.

A press note quoting Pukasa general secretary V.N. Murali said here on Monday that the decision to invite Mr. Modi was a regressive step that would prove to be a setback for Kerala.

It said the emergence of Mr. Modi as a national leader would undermine India’s secular culture, international image, and anti imperial policy.

Terming Mr. Modi’s development model as one based on corporate imperialism, the press note said experts had predicted that the anti- people, environment, women, and farmer model spelt doom for Gujarat in the long term. “It is this model that is being touted as Modi Magic,” it added.

Unholy nexus: BJP

A Correspondent writes from Thalassery: The Congress and the CPI(M) are raking up an issue regarding Mr. Modi’s visit, BJP national secretary P.K. Krishnadas said here on Monday.

This could be the beginning of an unholy nexus between the parties for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, he told mediapersons. Mr. Vijayan ‘need not tutor’ the BJP about the teachings of the Guru. It was the BJP government in Karnataka which introduced the Guru’s teachings in the school syllabi first, he said.

The CPI(M) and the Congress were aiming at vote bank politics to satisfy the Indian Union Muslim League, Mr. Krishnadas said.

Welcoming the remarks of Finance Minister K.M. Mani and Vellappally Natesan, he said there existed nothing called ‘Kerala model development’ and asked Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Mr. Achuthanandan to jointly visit Gujarat to learn about the development model there.

Mr. Krishnadas sought a detailed investigation into the arrest of a man with weapons near Mr. Vijayan’s residence.