NSS, SNDP angry, BJP, VHP protest
Hindus in majority, but marginalised in Congress cabinet?
Green flag trounces tricolour?
Ending months of hard-bargaining, Manjalamkuzhi Ali of the Muslim League was sworn in as Minister on 12th April, totally upsetting and outraging the political, social and communal equilibrium in Kerala. Mr. clean Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has committed ‘political hara-kiri’ by surrendering to the Muslim League, for saving his government which is on ventilator with a 72-67 (5 vote) majority. Ali was sworn in along with Anoop Jacob of Kerala Congress, who won a by-poll with massive majority.
The Muslim League which has 21 MLAs has been demanding 5 cabinet berths from the inception, but was periodically put on hold.
Totally violating the Kerala Pradesh Congress decision and keeping state president Ramesh Chennithala in the dark, Oommen Chandy succumbed to the pressure tactics of the Muslim League.
Several options were explored; if there was a move to make Muslim League’s Minister MK Munneer as Speaker and shift Congress Speaker G Karthikeyan as Minister. It misfired, since Muneer saw it as a covert strategy by his beta-noire in Muslim League.
Veteran Congress leader and former Kerala Speaker VM Sudheeran, MLA and K Karunakaran’s son K Muralee-dharan and minister Aryadan Mohammed didn’t attend the swearing in protesting against surrender of Congress tricolour to ‘star and moon’ embedded green flag of Muslim League.
Aryadan Mohammed has been constantly protesting against Muslim League moves to demolish Congress in Malappuram and Malabar. He has challenged the Muslim League to fight alone and show its strength.
The Nair Service Society (NSS) general secretary Sukumaran Nair thundered that never in Kerala’s history that Hindus have suffered so badly. “Out of the 24 Cabinet posts including Speaker, Dy Speaker and Chief whip, 14 are held by Christians and Muslims. This is outrageous for the Hindus who constitute 56 per cent of Kerala population. The Pro-UDF tilt of NSS is vitiated beyond repair and the honey-moon is over. The Cabinet reshuffle allotting home to Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and health to VS Sivakumar (both Nairs) is mere jugglery!”
SNDP (sword-arm of the Hindu Ezhava Community) general secretary Vellapalli Natesan termed the 5th Ministership suicidal. Moreover Communal imbalance will lead to communal conflicts.
BJP and Hindu Aikya Ved organised hartals and massive protests against the 5th Ministership. VHP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan termed it as death of secularism. BJP state president V Muraleedharan held long talks with Sukumaran Nair of NSS and Vellapalli Natesan of SNDP on the issue of uniting Hindus, on this explosive situation.
CPM is out to exploit Hindu fears with, poles apart, VS Atchudanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan both opposing the 5th Ministership and describing it as surrender to communal forces. Not long ago both opposed Madhani’s jailing and shared dias with him! Was not Madhani more communal and jehadi?
There are strong indications that, to balance the communal fall-out, Oommen Chandy may ask his childhood friend and fellow Minister KC Joseph to resign and give Ministership to a Nair to placate NSS Incidentally, Neyyatinkara is a Nair stronghold and with a 72-67 majority, Oommen Chandy desperately needs to win there. BJP is planning to put up a strong candidate to Neyyattinkara.
The Muslim League’s attempt to be the sole bargainer of Muslim votes is fraught with dangerous consequences, as it will give impetus to jehadi groups, to up their ante to be more Islamic. With Kasargod already tense due to extreme jehadism and communal provocations like placing buffalo heads on temple lamps/compounds, Hindu unity is the only solution. Will Kerala Hindus, at least now, wake up from their slumber??