C.K. Abdul Aziz, chairman of the policy formation committee of the People's Democratic Party, writes:
The comments made by Teesta Setalvad that appeared in TheHindu on June 6 picturising the People's Democratic Party as an outfit engaged in intolerant activities in Kerala are politically motivated. Her attempts to pair the PDP with the NDF [National Development Front] are intriguing.
The PDP is a registered national political party with a clean record of democratic functioning in Kerala for the past 17 years. Although our party chairman was implicated in the Coimbatore bomb blast case, he was acquitted by both the trial court and the Supreme Court.
He was falsely implicated by the Congress-led government in many 153-A cases for alleged provocative speeches. But all those charges were found by the courts to be baseless. Our political opponents make use of the cases in which he was discharged as political weapons to counter the mass support the party enjoys among the poorer sections of society.
We doubt that Ms. Setalvad has turned into their spokeswoman to spread malice against the PDP. Being a social worker, she is not entitled to make such irresponsible statements.
The people of Kerala know that she was the star campaigner for anti-Left Democratic Front propagandists in Kerala during the last Parliament elections. Since then, we realise, she has targeted the PDP in her public speeches.
Our political stand to strengthen the LDF has invited heavy criticism by, and the wrath of, ardent communal Muslim organisations. We are not a Muslim party, but one supported by the Muslim masses. This creates the core issue against the PDP.
It is quite unfortunate that eminent personalities like Ms. Setalvad have jumped on the bandwagon of pro-imperialists and communalists in Kerala politics.
The party has served a legal notice on Ms. Setalvad, asking her to apologise for the derogatory comments she made or face legal action. The PDP is no more prepared to ignore such irresponsible accusations.