CPI(M) hits out at Anand Sharma for his comments on Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front

‘Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party,’ the Congress leader had tweeted.

March 02, 2021 02:32 pm | Updated 02:38 pm IST - New Delhi:

Abbas Siddiqui is a Muslim cleric who launched the ISF last month. | File

Abbas Siddiqui is a Muslim cleric who launched the ISF last month. | File

How come the Congress has no reservation in allying with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala but has problem with an alliance with newly formed party of chief patron of Furfura Sharif Abbas Siddiqui, the Indian Secular Front (ISF), CPI (M) leader Mohammed Salim asked reacting to the senior Congress leader Anand Sharma’s comments .

Stirring controversy, Mr. Sharma, who is also part of the Congress dissidents group that is popularly referred to as G-23, in a tweet on Monday said, “Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the CWC.”

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Salim said that Mr. Sharma’s comments were an internal matter of the Congress. “It is their headache not ours,” he said.

Mr. Salim has played a key role in bringing Mr. Abbas to the Congress-Left front. The Congress has expressed reservation about the ISF and especially the conceding of seats to the newly formed party.

Mr. Sharma in his tweets further had said, “Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour.”

Questioning this line of reasoning, Mr. Salim pointed out that the Congress was in alliance with the IUML in Kerala, it had in the past also aligned with All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen. Mr. Salim said, “Why is that when the Congress has to fight against the BJP such reservations are expressed?”

He also sought to underplay the disruption caused by the ISF cadres in the middle of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary’s speech, when Mr. Siddiqui got onto the stage during the joint rally in Brigade Ground on Sunday. He said that such differences were a media creation, who were neatly divided into pro-TMC and pro-Left camps. “Both BJP and TMC want to discourage a viable strong alternative. They want this elections to be fought only on Hindu-Muslim binary, which is why minor things are blown out of proportions,” Mr. Salim said.

Despite the troublemakers, Mr. Salim said the seat arrangement would be finalised soon and there were only minor irritants that needed to be ironed out.

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