The Congress yesterday targeted the CPM in Kerala as BJP’s ‘A Team’. Congress PR chief Jairam Ramesh did not shy away from comparing Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with Narendra Modi. He taunted Pinarayi Vijayan as ‘Mundu-Modi’ or Narendra Modi in Malayalam dhoti (mundu).
The first attack, however, came from the CPM side. The ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ crossed the border of Tamil Nadu and entered Kerala on Sunday. The Padayatra will continue for 18 days in Kerala. Then will enter Karnataka. The Congress had to shift its address on Sunday night as the CPM students protested at the Agricultural University campus in Thiruvananthapuram where Congress participants including Rahul Gandhi were supposed to stay.
CPM’s Twitter post
On Monday, the CPM took to Twitter to taunt the Congress by showing a cartoon of Rahul, saying, ’18 days in Kerala, only two days in Uttar Pradesh! Strange way of fighting BJP with RSS!’
After this, Jairam Ramesh of Congress said, ‘Homework should be done well. How India Jodo Yatra is planned should be understood. In the state of Mundu-Modi, such a group is making this ridiculous criticism, which is the A team of the BJP. Congress leaders question, will the Congress marchers fly over Kerala from Kanyakumari and land in Karnataka?
Included states for the Yatra
It will take 18 days. Congress Research Cell leader Amitabh Dube argues, that 18 days of the 5-month India Jodo Yatra will be in Kerala. But during four months, the journey will go through Kanyakumari, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal, Haryana, Jammu, and Kashmir. In all these areas it is the Congress, not the Left, that fights against the BJP.
The alignment between the Congress and the CPM in the opposition camp in Parliament has been smooth since the election of the President and Vice President. Nevertheless, after the dispute between the two camps centered on the India Jodo Yatra, the question has arisen, is it not cracking the unity of the opposition? Jairam Ramesh’s reply, “Opposition unity does not mean weakening the Congress. Our partners, like-minded parties must understand that we will not allow ourselves to be weakened anymore.”
Discontent with Rahul Gandhi among the CPM leadership in Kerala is not, however, new. The Left leadership was disgruntled only after Rahul went up against the Left Front candidate from Kerala’s Wayanad in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. CPM leaders also did not take kindly to Rahul’s meeting with the agitators against Adani’s port and Silver Line rail projects in Thiruvananthapuram after going to Kerala on the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
Congress leaders were saying that the main fight in Kerala is between CPM and Congress, but the goal of Bharat Jodo Yatra is not Kerala assembly elections. According to the Congress leaders, the Left student organizations protested in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday night against the Bharat Jodo Yatra, but Congress did not act on it. But as the CPM directly targeted Rahul, Congress too had to go on the counter-attack.