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Madani communal, says Bardhan; Vijayan says no

Madani communal, says Bardhan; Vijayan says no

Author: Manoj C G & Shaju Philip
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: March 22, 2009

On A day when CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan shared a dais with Abdul Nasser Madani at an election meeting in Ponnani and hailed his "secular" credentials, CPI general secretary A B Bardhan made it clear in Delhi that his party considers the PDP a communal outfit.

"I do consider. That is one of the reasons why we did not have anything to do with it" was Bardhan's answer when asked whether he considered the PDP a communal outfit. Asked whether the CPI would share a dais with Madani, he said the CPI would not take on the role of a policeman to ensure that "nobody pollutes" the dais.

Despite Bardhan speaking his mind on the PDP, CPI leader Jose Baby made it a point to sit beside PDP working chairman Poonthura Siraj during the Ponnani function.

Bardhan also criticised the CPI(M) for denying the Kozhikode seat to the JD(S), which led to the JD(S) withdrawing its nominee from the Cabinet and pushed it to the verge of exit from the Left. "The way the JD(S) has been treated is unfortunate," the CPI veteran said after releasing his party's manifesto.

The manifesto promises review of the Indo-US nuclear deal and reversal of the proUS tilt if it comes to power besides proposing an alternative path for agricultural development, employment-based industrial growth, expansion of the NREGS scheme and land reforms.

Like his CPI(M) counterpart Prakash Karat, Bardhan also indicated that the Left was ready to do business with the Congress again post-elections but ruled out supporting a Congress-led Government.

Later in the day, at the election convention of Hussain Randathani, the Leftbacked candidate for Ponnnani, Vijayan and Madani shared the dais.

Vijayan, who put up a strong defence of Madani, blamed the Congress for being soft towards religious fundamentalism. "The CPI(M) does not require anyone's certificate to prove the party's anti-communal stand. Madani and his organisation have taken an open stand against terrorism after he was acquitted in the Coimbatore blast case. Had Madani been promoting terrorism, the CPI(M) would not have supported him. Madani has become secular," said Vijayan.

Madani, on his part, said he was ready to face any investigation, referring to the terror charges he has been facing after four suspected LeT militants from Kerala were killed in Kashmir last October. "There was no material evidence to prove the charges against me. My wife had not harboured any of the youths killed in Kashmir," he said.

Talking about the double standards of the Congress-led United Democratic Front, Madani said several senior leaders of the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League had solicited PDP votes when he was in jail.

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