KERALA

Padmanabhan's statement damaging: Acharya

THRISSUR DEC.7. The BJP national executive committee member and in-charge of the party in Kerala, P.B. Acharya, today said that the reported statement of the State BJP president, C.K. Padmanabhan, had done considerable damage to the party and if he could not convincingly undo it, he would have to pay the price.

Addressing a Meet-the-Press programme organised by the Thrissur Press Club, Mr. Acharya said Mr. Padmanabhan's statement (that appeared in Kalakaumudi) had to be reinstated with authenticity. "He (Mr. Padmanabhan) had gone against party's internal discipline. No person in the party is above it. It is his job to undo the damage done to the party," Mr. Acharya said.

Taking exception to Mr. Padmanabhan's reported remarks in the interview that the RSS was an obstacle to the growth of the BJP in the State, Mr. Acharya said the RSS was the cultural organisation and was the `oxygen' of the BJP. "If any man or woman denies that, he or she will not be in the BJP. The RSS is an inspiration for us, including the Prime Minister, A. B. Vajpayee," he said.

Referring to the interview of Mr. Padmanabhan, Mr Acharya said he was perturbed by reading the translated version of it. "The State-level committee of the party cannot take suo motu action against Mr. Padmanabhan. It is for the Central leadership to take a decision. Mr. Padmanabhan has refuted the charges against him. He had been advised to take legal action against the Kalakaumudi."

Asked whether he was satisfied with the clarifications given by Mr. Padmanabhan at Palakkad the other day, Mr Acharya said it was not the question of satisfaction. "There is a glaring difference between his clarification and the interview.'' He did not give a clear reply to the question why he was contradicting his own reported statement at Palakkad on Friday that he was satisfied with Mr. Padmanabhan's clarification.

He said that though the BJP was supporting the development activities of the UDF Government in the State, the party was given adequate representation in the development committee from the panchayat-level onwards. "We appeal to the State Government to behave democratically. We are being discriminated at every level."

Describing the UDF Government as `a failure' in every field, he alleged that the Chief Minister was dictated by a minority. "He is a good man, `good for nothing man' in effect.'' He also alleged that the Government was not providing even minimum facilities to Sabarimala pilgrims. He demanded that the State Government come out with a White Paper on the tribal land issue. "In Idukki, tribal land has been grabbed by Malayali Veerappans and Church leaders.''

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