Kerala PCC chief K Sudhakaran sparked controversy on Wednesday saying that he sent his men to “protect” RSS shakhas when he was part of Congress (Organization) decades ago and that the right-wing group also has all the rights to functioning in a democratic country.
Speaking at a meeting in Kannur district, the leader said that the CPI(M) had tried to destroy the shakhas when it was launched here in places like Edakkad, Thottada and Kizhunna and that he had sent people to “protect him”. against destruction by the left cadres.
“When I was in Congress (Organization), there was a time when the CPI(M) had tried to destroy the RSS shakhas launched in places like Edakkad, Thottada and Kizhunna. In those places there was a situation where shakhas could not be served. I was the person who sent people to protect the shakhas in these places,” he said.
Congress (Organization) came into existence after the split of the Congress Party in 1969. The Congress (O) later merged with the Janata Party.
However, Sudhakaran made it clear that he had not done this because he had ties to the right-wing outfits and his shakhas, but expressed the feeling that it was not appropriate for a democratic believer to remain silent when democratic rights were being destroyed in a place where fundamental rights prevailed.
Known for his fight against the Marxist party in Kannur, known as a CPI(M) bastion, the KPCC chief also said that freedom of expression and political freedom are the birthrights of every individual and must be protected.
When the statements caused controversy, Sudhakaran later released a statement saying that his act was to protect democracy and that all parties have the right to function in the country.
“Doesn’t the RSS have the right to function? Is it a banned outfit? What is wrong with my statement? I kept that time away from the Congress party and was part of Congress (Organization). Policy-wise, that party was close to the BJP in Indian politics at the time,” he said.
The KPCC chief also said his act was an attempt to counter the anti-democratic acts of the Marxist party.
Meanwhile, the ruling CPI(M) said Sudhakaran’s statement was not surprising and that Congress and the RSS had been working closely together in the politically volatile district since 1969.
When asked to comment on the controversy, party secretary of state MV Govindan Sudhakaran’s stance said he would join the BJP if he felt that was his democratic right.
It was Congress that should take the statement seriously and people are looking at all these things, he said.
Govindan also accused Congress of adopting a “soft Hindutva” stance along with the BJP taking an “extreme Hindutva” stance.
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