Memo to Kalam by MLAs
Why is Congress soft on the extremist?
By Our Special Correspondent
The ruling Congress led UDF and the CPM led LDF may be at logger-heads with each other in Kerala, but when it comes to Madhani, Islamic extremist and accused in the Coimbatore bomb blast case, both are together. They are exploring all possibilities under the sun to get Madhani out on bail from the Coimbatore prison where he is lodged. Some human rights organisations (who are basically left oriented) have also joined the chorus.
Madhani and his organisation the Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS) came up in the Kerala political horizon as the self-proclaimed protectors of the Muslim masses in the early nineties.
During the 1996 Assembly polls, the CPM was able to win a sizable percentage of the Muslim votes thanks to Madhani'sPDP and Sulaiman Sait'sIndian National League.
Fanatic Madhani'sclout with Congress
In 1998, along with Basha and members of Al-Umma, Madhani was arrested by the Tamil Nadu police for involvement in the bomb blasts in Coimbatore which was aimed at killing BJP President L.K. Advani. Almost 60 persons were killed and several are still living as corpses with hands and legs amputated.
Right from 1998, Madhani has been imprisoned in the Coimbatore Central Jail. Angered at the CPM led LDF for not doing anything to get Madhani released on bail during the 1998-2001 period, the PDP openly canvassed for the Congress led UDF during the 2001 Assembly polls. Several bigwigs of the UDF including present Chief Minister Oommen Chandy visited him in prison and sought his support. They also assured him that they will take up the matter with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for his release.
Since 2001 the UDF has been making several requests to the Jayalalithaa led Tamil Nadu government for his release. Kerala ministers? discussions with their Tamil Nadu counterparts revolve around Madhani. Oommen Chandy has personally taken up this issue with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Recently he visited Madhani'sfamily on the pretext of a wedding and assured him of all help.
With elections fast approaching in 2006, the CPM led LDF does not want to be left far behind. Pro-CPM human rights activists like former Supreme Court Judge V.R. Krishna Iyer are already in the forefront demanding Madhani'srelease. Recently, when President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam visited the Kerala Assembly, a memorandum signed by almost all the 140 MLAs seeking his intervention in Madhani'srelease, was handed over to him. It is ironical that the memorandum is for release of a terrorist, extremist and anti-national.
The BJP, RSS and Hindu organisations are of the view that Madhani'sentry into Kerala will vitiate the almost volatile communal situation in Kerala. More-over the matter is sub-judice where a political or executive intervention is not possible.
But pouring water on the efforts of the Congress – CPM, the Supreme Court rejected the bail application, on health grounds. They ordered for medical treatment at the prison in Coimbatore.
With elections round the corner we can expect more hectic efforts on the part of the Congress and CPM to woo the 26 per cent Muslim vote of Kerala by presenting the promise of Madhani'srelease. Left or right Madhani is best!