Congress should safeguard its MLAs in Karnataka from being poached by BJP: CPI(M)


PTI, May 15, 2023, 1:24 PM IST

The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala on Monday took a veiled dig at the Congress by asking it to safeguard its newly elected Karnataka MLAs from being poached by the BJP as was allegedly done by the saffron party in Goa amidst the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Terming the Congress as being weak and incapable of taking on the BJP on its own, the CPI(M) batted for a state-wise alliance to defeat the saffron party in the 2024 general elections.

”A national-level alliance will not be helpful. We need to unite all the anti-BJP groups at the state-level and defeat the BJP in each state. That is the only way forward,” CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had suggested a similar strategy a day ago.

Govindan said the contention that Congress was the only party capable of taking on the BJP was ”only an argument”.

”Everyone who knows Congress, knows that Karnataka was the only state where they could contest polls effectively. The other states where they can are Gujarat, Rajasthan and some similar states.

”But there too, the Congress is in a weak position. Even now, they have internal conflicts,” he contended.

The CPI(M) state secretary said the Congress should focus on deciding a Chief Minister and cabinet ministers for Karnataka while remaining careful and vigilant against any alleged attempts by the BJP to poach their MLAs.

”Everyone knows that the BJP has the wherewithal to buy MLAs. It happened in Goa amidst the then ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra,” he said.

The CPI(M) leader was referring to the crossing over of eight of the 11 Congress MLAs in Goa in September last year to the ruling BJP in the western state just months after the Assembly elections were held there.

Govindan asserted that the BJP was the biggest threat and the people want to defeat it.

Therefore, all anti-BJP groups should come together to defeat it as one, he said.

Govindan’s statement is in contrast to his party colleague and Fisheries Minister Saji Cheriyan’s view that Congress was one of the strongest parties in India and there was nothing wrong with asking them to come forward in the fight against BJP.

”Let them lead from the front,” he said and at the same time added that he does not agree with the Congress’ stand on various issues in Kerala.

”However, to ensure secularism in the country, they need to be at the forefront. There is no argument on that,” he had said.

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