The recent standoff between Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was a “manufactured one” to divert public attention from the Bharat Jodo Yatra undertaken by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, according to AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh.
Briefing media persons about the Yatra, which moved through Ernakulam on Wednesday, Mr. Ramesh said the BJP was worried at the national level and the CPI (M) at the State level about the tremendous response the Yatra had generated. The BJP and the CPI (M) are the two sides of the same coin. The CPI (M)’s objective in Kerala is to strengthen the BJP and to weaken the Congress, he said.
The former Union Minister said the Constitutional post of Governor has been reduced to that of one subordinate to Prime Minister and the Home Minister.
It has never happened in the past when the Governor, a Constitutional functionary, goes all the way to meet the head of RSS, the organisation that had refused to hoist the national flag for 50 years, referring to the recent meeting between Mr. Khan and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat at Thrissur, he said.
On Congress leaders leaving the party in hordes, Mr. Ramesh said it was migrant labourers who had left the party for personal benefits. The leaving of those leaders, who had made gains, will only strengthen the party. A few leaders who are afraid of the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department have also left the party. For every leader leaving the party, young people are joining the organisation in good numbers, he said.
Mr. Ramesh said Rahul Gandhi will leave for New Delhi on Thursday to meet his mother Sonia Gandhi, who was not keeping well. He is likely to return to Kerala the same day. The permission of the party president and Rahul Gandhi was not required for anyone to contest the post of party president in the upcoming organisational election. A clear picture on the organisational affairs will be known in the coming days, he said.