Friday, April 10, 2009

Both Kerala fronts carry terror baggage, says BJP

Apr 2009,ET Bureau

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala's Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has been blaming the ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) for keeping Abdul Nasser Madani's company, pointing to Mr Madani's terror-tainted past.

Now, with the Popular Front of India (PFI) throwing its weight behind the UDF, the Congress front's allegation against the LDF appears to be a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

PFI was formed in 2006 with the merger of one party each from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, namely the National Development Front, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai respectively.

While Abdul Nasser Madani's People's Democratic Party (PDP), which had once been in the Congress camp has decided to support the LDF this time, PFI has declared support to the Congress and its allies in 18 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala.

Former BJP state president P S Sreedharan Pillai says both NDF, which has metamorphosed into the PFI, and Mr Madani's PDP which backs the LDF are both extremist outfits that are two sides of the same coin.

BJP president vice president Venkiah Naidu who visited Kerala today, went one step further, demanding that the state government disclose the list of those with terror links given to it by the centre. Mr Naidu's statement came in the context of defence minister A K Antony's statement that the centre had apprised the state government of those with terror links in the state.

Another state BJP leader, O Rajagopal has demanded that the state should hand over all cases from the state pertaining to terrorist activities to the National Security Agency. Mr Rajagopal pointed out that terrorists from Kerala who had been shot dead in Kashmir were linked to the PDP leadership in Kerala.

Interestingly, the Popular Front has decided to back 18 of the 20 UDF candidates, with the exception of Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram and K V Thomas in Kochi. Reacting to the Popular Front's statement, CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said they ought to explain why it was not supporting the UDF in the two other seats.

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