NDF links: Cong, allies in denial mode

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on July 11, 2010

Kerala’s top Congress functionary and Opposition leader in the Assembly Oommen Chandy said on Saturday that neither his party nor the UDF it led had ever forged any links with extremist forces like the Popular Front of India (formerly NDF).

Chandy’s denial came in the context of criticisms that the Popular Front was in alliance with the UDF, particularly during the last Lok Sabha election, and the ongoing police crackdown on the organization following last week’s attack on a professor in Muvattupuzha. The NDF had supported the UDF in the last Parliament election while Abdul Nasser Madani’s PDP was an informal electoral ally of the CPI(M)-led LDF.

“The Congress has never had, and will never have, any connection with the Popular Front or any other extremist organization. No party in the UDF would ever protect any extremist outfit,” Chandy told newsmen in Kottayam. He said his party and the UDF would offer total support to the Government if it decided to ban such extremist outfits.

Senior Congress leader and former State minister Aryadan Muhammad said he would not accept the support of Islamist organizations Popular Front and the Jama’at-e-Islami if he contested the coming elections. He said there were strong indications that Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence had influence in Kerala. The train sabotage bid in Nilambur, Malappuram and the attack on college professor TJ Joseph had to be seen as examples of this influence, he said.

Indian Union Muslim League, the second largest UDF constituent which recently came under fire for its secret bid to strike a deal with Jama’at-e-Islami, also sought to distance itself from extremism-oriented organizations. League’s State general secretary PK Kunhalikkutty said in Kozhikode that the responsibility for fostering terror outfits in Kerala was with the CPI(M) which had been consistently trying to weaken his party by promoting alternative Muslim organizations.

“Creation of minority outfits to weaken the League has always been a Marxist dream. Kerala is now experiencing the ill-effects of that. They will never be able to wash this sin off any of the holy rivers,” he said. Regarding the issue of the non-bailable warrant against PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani, he said, “I don’t want to comment on it this way or that way.”

Madani had not even cared to express gratitude when the League had helped him out of humanitarian considerations, Kunhalikkutty claimed. The PDP leader had repeatedly accused Kunhalikkutty of writing to him requesting his party’s electoral support when he was under detention at the Coimbatore prison.

KM Shaji, State president of the Muslim Youth League, the youth outfit of the Muslim League, held Home Minister and CPI(M) Politbureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan responsible for the present terror situation in Kerala. “It is not Kerala which is responsible for this. The responsibility is with Kerala’s Home Department, rather the Home Minister,” he said in Kozhikode.

Shaji said Kerala had been experiencing the after-effects of the month-long campaign by the Popular Front for Kodiyeri in the 2006 Assembly election in Thalassery where he contested as the CPI(M)’s candidate. He alleged that the police were raiding houses of low-level Popular Front leaders without acting against the top leadership in an attempt to give time to remove incriminating documents.

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