CPM persists with League bashing, accuses it of engineering 'extreme communal polarisation'

A Vijayaraghavan

Now that the strategy of branding the Muslim League as communal and ridiculing the UDF as a mere puppet in the hands of the League has seemingly worked, the CPM is out to milk this political line for maximum gains.

The CPM's interim state secretary A Vijayaraghavan, after the CPM state committee on Sunday, resumed the party's League bashing for what he termed its fascination for “extreme communal politics”. He said the UDF crossed all limits to create communal polarisation in Kerala during the local body polls.

"On the one hand it tried its usual trick of forming a secret alliance with the BJP and on the other it yielded to the alliance the Muslim League stitched with Welfare Party of India alliance," Vijayaraghavan said.

He almost sounded sympathetic about the Congress. "The Jamaat-e-Islami (which backs the Welfare Party) is a group that stands for Muslim mobilisation. A secular party like the Congress should not have endorsed the extreme communal stance of the Jamaat," he said. "It is the League's politics of communal polarisation that is now showing the way for the Congress," he added.

Communal polarisation was sought to be engineered by the League not just by an alliance with the Jamaat-e-Islami, Vijayaraghavan said. "It was to create this polarisation that the League openly opposed the 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward among the forward castes," the state secretary said.

The CPM stand was that the 10 per cent reservation for forward castes would not take away any lower caste benefits. The Muslim League was openly critical saying that forward caste reservation is for 10 per cent of all seats available instead of limiting it to 52 per cent of the non-reserved seats.

This, according to the League, would eat into the benefits of Muslims and Ezhavas. It was also said that forward caste Hindus and Christians, though fewer in number, would corner more medical and engineering seats than the numerically stronger Muslims and Ezhavas.

At that point, the League had managed to get two Left-leaning caste groups, Ezhavas and Pulayas, on its side.

However, SNDP Yogam leader Vellapally Natesan's statement on Sunday exhorting the dominant Hindu castes to come together to combat minorities, especially the Muslims, is a clear sign that moves are on to demonise the League, and by extension, the UDF.

The CPM state secretary also said the LDF had gained from the entry of Jose K Mani. He said the party was of the view that alliance with Mani had allowed the LDF to secure greater acceptance in traditional UDF strongholds in central Travancore.

Vijayaraghavan also brushed away the internal divisions in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) triggered by the arrival of the Mani faction. He said he was not aware of reports that the NCP was planning to leave the LDF fold. “The decision of who will contest in Pala will be taken at a later date. There will be no seat disputes in the LDF,” Vijayaraghavan said.

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