Terror Fronts of Kerala – UDF and LDF

published on November 2, 2008

Leaders at war as terror thrives

Pioneer News Service | Kochi

The ruling LDF and the Opposition UDF are continuing their war of words against each other over who had promoted terror elements in Kerala instead of providing moral and official support to the policemen and other officials on Ground Zero who are toiling to destroy the extremists’ network, which now seems to have links to Pakistan and elsewhere.

The exercise of the politicians, split chiefly into two camps, is meant to find fault with their enemies with their stock rhetoric. While the UDF, with the advantage of being in the Opposition, charges the LDF, particularly the CPI(M), with providing all facilities for the growth of terrorism with the strategy of minority appeasement for electoral gains, the LDF calls such charges as a prostitute’s claims of chastity. However, NDF and PDP argue that both the fronts had taken their support in the past elections.

As the Congress and the CPI(M) trade charges over the issue, Nazeeruddin Elamaram, State general secretary of the NDF, which is presently in the shadow of suspicion with respect to terrorism in the State, says that both fronts had sought and got his outfit’s electoral support.

“We are now in trouble. Both the UDF and LDF are attacking each other with statements that neither of them needs our votes. We do have lakhs of votes, and what will we do with all those votes if both of them do not want it?” he ridiculed the two fronts during a television talk show the other day.

“Please don’t quarrel on the issue of our votes. We would decide it when the election comes. However, it is now almost clear that neither the UDF nor the LDF had taken our votes in the past elections. Where did all our votes go then?” asks Nazeeruddin.

State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala says the CPI(M) and the LDF Government it leads are hesitating to act against the NDF, Abdul Nasser Madani’s PDP and Jama’at-e-Islami because of electoral obligations. To this, LDF convener Vaikom Viswan replies with another question: “Is Chennithala brave enough to brand PDP and Jama’at-e-Islami as terrorists?” The Congress leader does not have a direct answer.

Both the UDF and the LDF had joined hands in 2005 to pass a resolution unanimously in the Kerala Assembly to speed up the process for the release of Madani from the Coimbatore prison where he was then lodged, but both the parties now say that this was because of purely humanitarian considerations. However, Poonthura Siraj, working chairman of the PDP, says either of the two fronts is not being sincere in heaping abuses on PDP and Madani.

“When Madani was in prison, I was in charge of liaison works for PDP. I had held negotiations directly in 2001 with then opposition leader AK Antony at his official residence, the Cantonment House, at least five times. These negotiations were for deciding the alliance for the Assembly elections,” says Siraj.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Joseph Vazhakkan says that several of the CPI(M) candidates had won the last Assembly elections with the help of the NDF and the PDP. “Education Minister MA Baby had won the election from Kundara constituency, a stronghold of PDP, with Madani-supporters’ votes. Baby’s election posters had featured Madani’s pictures with the same importance given to that of Baby,” he argues.

Siraj does not deny this but adds that the same trick was used by UDF candidates as well. “It was none other than Joseph Vazhakkan who had paid the printers to print election posters for Congress candidate Mercy Ravi (wife of Union Minister Vayalar Ravi) in Kottayam with Madani’s pictures. Vazhakkan himself had given 10,000 of these posters to our workers for distribution,” says Siraj.

However, police officers secretly admit that the political relations of several of the suspects have been causing problems locally for the investigations about terror elements. They say that the politicians should stop spending time for attacks against each other over such a grave issue ands start giving them moral and administrative support.

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