Anti-CAA agitation: CPM once again extends a hand to the Muslim League

Anti-CAA agitation: CPM once again extends a hand to the Muslim League
Sunday's press meet was Kodiyeri's first public appearance after a long absence for treatment. R S Gopan

Thiruvananthapuram: It looks like the CPM is determined to drive a wedge between the Congress and the Muslim League on the issue of a joint struggle against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). After some vacillation, the League had unequivocally stated it was not for a joint agitation with the CPM. The CPM is not ready to leave it at that.

The party's State Committee, which had met during the last two days, has decided to exhort cadres to constantly be in touch with “non-Left leaning” individuals who were part of the CPM's 'human chain' on January 26 and make them participate in the various anti-CAA protests to be held across the State on March 23 to mark Bhagat Singh's martyrdom. “We want the March 23 protests to take forward the unity that we could forge on January 26,” CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters after the State Committee meeting here on Sunday.

Non-'Left leaning' is euphemism for Muslim League. “Minorities had taken part in the human chain in a big way,” said Kodiyeri, making his first public appearance after a long absence for treatment. “Truth is, even people from other non-Left parties had also participated,” he added.

Even top League leaders had admitted that some of its cadres may have participated in the CPM's 'human chain' on January 26. However, the presence of League's Beypore Mandalam vice president K M Basheer, and his subsequent unapologetic comments, had stung the League. Basheer was promptly suspended. Eventually, the League concluded that it was politically unwise to take part in protests organised by the CPM.

But after the State Committee meeting, the CPM state secretary said the doors were still open. “Except for the Jamaat-e-Islami and SDPI (Social Democratic Party of India), we would like all secular forces to take part in the joint protests,” said Kodiyeri.

The CPM state secretary called for a “broad understanding” against communal forces. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's similar pitch during the just concluded Assembly session was rejected by the Muslim League. Like Pinarayi, Kodiyeri too blamed the Congress for being intransigent. “The Congress is not taking a helpful stand. For them, anti-communism is more important than opposing the RSS. But we know there are secular minded people within the UDF and our future course of action will be organised in such a way as to include them also,” Kodiyeri said.

The CPM will also intensify its campaign agaisnt that it calls “Islamic extremism”. Kodiyeri said that like the RSS, there were sections within Islam that were trying to create a communal divide. He specificaly named Jamaat-e-Islami and SDPI for trying to inculcate hatred for Hindus. “Both are trying for communal polarisation,” he said. “Jamaat-e-Islami is fired by the thought of freeing India through Islam. SDPI is using religion as a weapon for terrorism. If RSS incites people to chant 'Jai Shri Ram', Muslim fundamentalists are exhorting people to cry 'bolo takbeer'. Both Hindu and Muslim fundamentalism should be opposed and defeated,” Kodiyeri added.

The CPM has planned a series of agitation measures against the CAA to culminate on March 23. On January 18, there will be a march to a central government office in each district. Massive door-to-door campaigns and 'protect the Constitution' forums will be organised at the ward level in the state. It is to these protests that the CPM has once again given the League an invite.

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