The CPI(M) on Tu-esday went on the defensive over its “secret talks” with the Jamaat-e-Islami in the face of a concerted attack by the Opposition United Semocratic Front and the BJP over the Marxist ‘double talk’ on extremism.
CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said that he and the Jamaat leaders did not discuss anything related to politics when they met and had just spoken “generally”.
Toeing the same line, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the party secretary might have met them since they sought an appointment, but there is no change in the party’s stand on the ‘hard-line’ organisation.
Likewise, CPI(M) politburo member S. Ramachandran Pillai also strained his vocal chords to explain why the meeting with the Jamaat leaders was inconsequential. He said it was up to the Jamaat make its stand clear on the issue.
It was the resignation of a key Jamaat leader last week that brought to light the ‘deal’ between the CPI(M) and the organisation.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the CPI(M) had to pay dearly for its truck with Abdul Nasser Madani’s hardline Muslim outfit.
Meanwhile, the issue had its echo in the UDF too with Opposition leader Oommen Chandy saying that the CPI(M) should clarify whether it still considered the outfit the “fount of extremism in India”. But much to the UDF’s embarrassment, it has also come out that Congress MP M.I. Shanawaz had met Jamaat leaders recently.
Though the UDF leadership made light of it by terming it a “private meeting” rebel Congress leader T.H. Musthafa said Mr Sha-nawaz had done great injustice to the party by hobnobbing with Jamaat leaders.
IUML leader P.K. Kunhalikutty also tried to distance himself from the Shanawaz controversy. Asian Age