Congress national leadership irked with Sudhakaran's comments, seeks explanation

Congress general secretary Tariq Anwar; KPCC president K Sudhakaran. Photo: Manorama News

New Delhi: The national leadership of the Congress has expressed severe disappointment over K Sudhakaran's recent remarks on Nehru and the RSS. The party's general secretary Tariq Anwar has sought an explanation from the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president. Tariq also clarified that he would talk with various constituents of the UDF, which have raised a furore over the comments.

Meanwhile, All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary K C Venugopal said the controversy ended when Sudhakaran publicly expressed regret and retracted his statement. Sudhakaran had clarified that it was a slip of the tongue, Venugopal said.

He also said the protest by Congress allies, including the Muslim League over the statement, could not be faulted. The misunderstanding caused by the remark would be resolved, adding that the only entity combating the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the country was the Congress.

A day earlier, on Children's Day, Sudhakaran had said that Nehru was so large-hearted that he had compromised with even communal fascist forces.

“Nehru tasked B R Ambedkar, a critic of the Congress, with the mission to draft the Constitution and made him the minister for law. Nehru also made RSS leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee a cabinet minister. He also made AKG the leader of the opposition. All these showed the high sense of democratic values that Nehru had. No other leader would do such a thing. Nehru also valued criticisms," Sudharakan had said.

The Congress chief of its Kerala unit had also kicked up a row a week ago by stating that as an activist of the Kerala Students Union he had sent men to protect the RSS offices in Thottada and Keezhunna areas in Kannur district when the CPM tried to destroy them.

Satheesan not pleased

Meanwhile, Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan expressed displeasure over Sudhakaran’s statement.

The remark was a serious one, he said.

The party leadership has looked into his controversial statements. However, Sudhakaran has said in his defence that it was a slip of the tongue, Satheesan said.

Remarks part of Cong's attempt to align with BJP: CPM

The ruling CPM party charged that the remarks were part of attempts to make a truce with the right-wing outfit and the BJP.

Amid mounting criticism from the IUML and the Marxist party, the Congress was forced to announce that it would never dilute or compromise on its secular position and the party would go ahead only upholding Nehruvian ideologies in the southern state.

In response to the controversy, BJP state president K Surendran said the leaders and activists of the Congress party were "insecure" and Sudhakaran's statements reflected the uncertainty in their minds and feelings.

(With PTI inputs)

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