‘Madani equal to Gandhi’- CPM ‘censured’ EMS in 1993

via www.expressbuzz.com published on April 12, 2009

KOLLAM: EMS Namboodiripad had invited ‘public censure’ by the party when he eulogised Abdul Nassar Madani by equating him with Mahatma Gandhi.

In an article published in the party mouthpiece `Peoples Democracy,’ CPM general secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeeth had stated that the stand taken by EMS was not right.

EMS equated Madani with Mahatma Gandhi during the campaign for the byelection held to the Ottappalam Lok Sabha constituency in 1993. The by-election was necessitated following the election of K.R.Narayanan as the Vice-President of India in 1992.

CPM had fielded Sivaraman as its candidate against K.K.Balakrishnan of the UDF. It was the period when Madani emerged as a leader of the Islamic fundamentalist forces and making scathing attacks on the IUML for the moderate line it had pursued on the issue of the demolition of Babri Masjid.

He could succeed to an extent in making inroads into the mass bases of the IUML. The CPM decided to make use of the situation and the speech by EMS eulogising Madani was the outcome of that strategy.

According to C.P.John, CMP leader, it was the first time the CPM was making use of the divisions in the Muslim community for its electoral gains. EMS had stated that Madhani was using Islamic faith for a noble cause like Mahatma Gandhi who used the concept of Rama Rajya for the liberation of the country. The strategy to woo the Muslim voters had clicked then and Sivaraman defeated his rival by a margin of more than one lakh votes.

However, the statement on Madhani by EMS had stirred up a controversy. In the party also this became a subject of heated discussions.

It was in this context the party general secretary clarified the stand of the party by publicly disowning one of its senior-most leaders.

Publicly disowning the stand of a party leader amounted to public censure, as enshrined in the party constitution, though the party officially did not take any disciplinary action against EMS.

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