Nair Service Society General Secretary G Sukumaran Nair has rejected Kerala CM Oommen Chandy’s reported offer to hold talks to sort out differences between NSS and Congress and Kerala government.
Malayalam media reports today (July 20, 2013)that Sukumaran Nair noted that Chandy’s new friendship offer is part of his tactics. “We reject his offer with contempt,” said Nair. According to Nair NSS is not ready to hold discussion with those who belittled us. Nair said Oommen Chandy has been showing a hostile attitude towards NSS.
However later in the day reacting to the new statement of Nair, Chandy said NSS has the right to declare their stand adding that Congress continue to share good relations with all social and religious organizations.
NSS general secretary was responding to media persons at NSS headquarters Changanassery who pointed out to him Oommen Chandy’s statement that he has good relations with NSS. Relations between NSS and Chandy ruptured following an alleged violation of understanding between NSS and Congress high command by Chandy. NSS alleges that while Congress high command had assured it to appoint Hindu leaders in Congress in key positions in Kerala’s Congress lead UDF ministry, Chandy had subverted it. Following this NSS had stated NSS and Congress won’t share friendly relations anymore.
Without mincing words Nair said Congress central leadership and Kerala leadership don’t have the right to utter the word discussion with NSS hinting that they have made a mockery of previous discussions. The attitude of NSS towards Congress won’t change even if Ramesh Chennithala (a Hindu Congress leader) is given any position in government. NSS which had a pro-UDF attitude doesn’t have any soft corner for UDF now, said Nair. NSS has the capacity to lend its support to whichever political party it deems fit, said Nair.
Speaking on the education sector in Kerala Nair said the scene is similar to that of a sugarcane field where an elephant has entered. Nair said the attitude of Left Democratic Front towards demands of NSS in the education sector was better. They had an open mind to our demands and were not averse to creative solutions, he said.
Significance of Chandy’s new friendship offer
There is significance in the new move of Oommen Chandy who is beleaguered in Solar Panel Scam. Revelations on the scam bringing out evidences of influence of a company floated by two criminals in Chandy’s office have now made it difficult for Chandy to continue. In this context, Chandy cannot afford enmity of NSS. Earlier Muslim League leader and industries minister P K Kunhalikkutty had met SNDP general secretary Vellappally Natesan and had given assurances to him regarding demands of SNDP in education sector. There had been reports that Natesan had watered down his opposition to UDF after Kunhalikkutty’s meeting and NSS-SNDP unity had developed cracks. However allegations were dismissed by Natesan later.
The overtures of UDF leaders to SNDP and NSS who have reportedly entered into an alliance as part of Hindu unity in Kerala achieves significance as Lok Sabha elections approach. Congress and allies used to win around 80 per cent of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state and in the coming election Congress badly needs to retain this trend. This will not be possible if NSS and SNDP opposes it. This may be the reason why UDF is now extending an olive branch to NSS. Moreover Congress seems to be rattled at the possibility of gains to BJP lead by Narendra Modi if NSS-SNDP unity continues in Kerala.
NSS’s strict stand against Congress is unlikely to discourage Chandy. This is clear from the reaction of Chandy that NSS has every right to decide its policy. Congress will continue to make new offers to NSS and SNDP. There are going to be intense efforts to split NSS-SNDP unity. Weaknesses of SNDP and NSS leadership are likely to be exploited. While NSS seems to be retaining a hard stand against Congress SNDP may not. Meanwhile, Hindu leaders in Congress may devise new strategies to win support for them from NSS and SNDP on an individual basis. In the coming days perhaps they will work hard that even if NSS doesn’t support Congress, it will support them.