CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on Friday said that a "secret electoral alliance" was shaping up between the Congress and the BJP.
As proof, he cited two developments. One, what he termed opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala's public rejection of Rahul Gandhi's praise for Kerala government's pandemic response. And two, senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhkrishnan's visit to the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) office in Kottayam.
Kodiyeri said that secret talks were on to strike local level deals to allow the BJP to secure five to 10 seats in the coming Assembly elections. "If there is a hung Assembly, the plan is to have a UDF ministry controlled by the BJP," Kodiyeri said.
According to the CPI(M) state secretary, the Congress-BJP combine was trying to extend to other constituencies the "Nemom Model", which according to him resulted in the transfer of 20,000-odd UDF votes to the BJP candidate in Nemom, O Rajagopal, during the 2016 Assembly elections.
He said that never before in the history of the Congress had local Congress leaders dismissed the High Command's words. "If Chennithala had done it, it was only to satisfy the RSS," Kodiyeri said. He also alleged that Chennithala did this right after BJP's state general secretary M T Ramesh had dared him to reject Rahul Gandhi's opinion.
During his visit to Wayanad this week, Rahul Gandhi had expressed his appreciation for the way in which the Kerala Government was dealing with COVID-19. Rahul's words were quickly lapped up by the CPI(M) and, as a consequence, was seen as a huge embarrassment for the local Congress leaders who were vigorously arguing that the government's pandemic response was a disaster.
Kodiyeri said that senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan's visit to the RSS office was yet another sign of this emerging alliance. "Why did he go there," Kodyeri asked. "This was clearly part of the understanding they are forging in stealth," the CPI(M) leader said.
Pro-CPI(M) trolls had used Thiruvanchoor's alleged visit to subject the Congress party to some severe political walloping on social media. However, the Congress leader said his visit was not to the RSS office but to the 'annadana mandapam' of Sewa Bharathi during the Navami festival of the Panachikkad temple in his constituency.
Further, he said that the CPI(M) leaders making fun of him should not lose sight of the fact that the Panachikkad panchayat was ruled by the CPI(M) with the support of the BJP.
The thrust of Kodiyeri's argument was that the Congress, desperate to shore up its eroding base, was trying to cut deals with extremist elements among Hindus and Muslims.
While on the one hand they were holding secret parleys with the BJP and the RSS, Kodiyeri said that the UDF had already wrapped up a pact with the Welfare Party, the political wing of Jamaat-e-Islami. He alleged that the UDF was also trying to rope in Popular Front and the SDPI (Social Democratic Party of India), both considered fringe Muslim parties.
He said the Congress had dumped its secular credentials and had entered into an electoral understanding with a party whose stated objective is a Muslim nation. He said Jamaat-e-Islami was just the other side of the RSS.
The CPI(M) state secretary said Jamaat-e-Islami is an organisation that had welcomed the conversion of Hagia Sophia in Turkey, once Europe's most prominent church, into a mosque.
"The Congress had conceded the control of the UDF to the Muslim League, and the League, which had once opposed Jamaat-e-Islami, is now led by their ideology," Kodiyeri said. "A Front that was once led by Oommen Chandy and K M Mani is now being led by Ramesh Chennithala, M M Hassan, Kunhalkutty and the Jamaat-e-Islami Amir M I Abdul Aziz," Kodiyeri said.