HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Antony’s comment on secularism sparks debate

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Thiruvananthapuram, June 29, 2014
First Published: 01:15 IST(29/6/2014) | Last Updated: 01:31 IST(29/6/2014)

Senior Congress leader AK Antony’s comment on dipping secular credentials of the party has triggered a debate in the state.

The former defence minister had admitted on Friday that his party’s growing proximity to minority communities led people to doubt its secular credentials. “People have a feeling that the Congress bats for a few communities, especially minorities in Kerala.  While professing and practising secularism the party has some slants that all sections do not get justice. This has to be removed,” he said raising many eyebrows.

“Some sections of society have an impression that the party is inclined to certain communities or organisations. Congress policy is equal justice to all. But people have doubt whether that policy is being implemented or not,” he said. He said such apprehensions would open the door for communal forces in Kerala, known for its amity and brotherhood.

The CPM has welcomed Antony’s ‘self-criticism’. “What he said is right. To checkmate Communism the party is of late embracing everyone including cattiest and communal forces,” said party politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai in Delhi. But BJP has slammed his statement saying he was silent when Centre and state governments adopted communal-appeasement policies. “When he was the CM he opposed CBI probe into Marad massacre of 2002. He surrendered to the Muslim League then,” BJP state president V Muraleedharan said.

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