Kerala: CM helps NDA leader held in UAE, triggers row

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (PTI File Photo)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's request to the centre to help Kerala NDA leader Thushar Vellapally held by police in UAE in a cheating case has triggered a political row in Kerala, especially since the move was considered to have political motives.

Congress senior leader Ramesh Chennithala, who is also the leader of opposition in Kerala Assembly, on Friday commented that the Chief Minister should show similar consideration to all Keralites jailed in Gulf countries.

However, senior CPM leaders have justified Vijayan's action. CPM leader and Industries Minister in Kerala E P Jayarajan said that the case against Thushar seemed to an unusual one as it pertained to a cheque said to be issued over a decade back. Hence there was nothing wrong in the Chief Minister urging the centre to extent possible assistance with in the law.

Following reports regarding Thushar's arrest on Thursday, Vijayan wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar urging that all possible help within the limits of law may be extended to him. The Chief Minister's action came at a time when the BJP leaders in Kerala were maintaining silence over the matter. Thushar was even NDA's candidate against Rahul Gandhi at Wayanad.

Congress sources said that Vijayan's swift move was aimed at vote bank politics. Thushar is vice president of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an outfit of the prominent Hindu - Ezhava community.

Though the Ezhava community was earlier considered to be vote bank of CPM, in the last Lok Sabha polls the CPM lost the grip over the Ezhava community especially owing to mishandling of the Sabarimala women entry row. Hence the Chief Minister could have used the fresh developments as an attempt to appease the Ezhava community.

The Thushar headed BDJS party, which is an ally of BJP in Kerala, may be also forced to rethink its alliance in the wake of the fresh developments. Thushar's father and SNDP general secretary Vellapally Natesan was having an alliance with the left-front. He may also use this opportunity to make his son ally with the left-front.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and former president of Kerala PCC, V M Sudheeran, alleged the fresh development have brought to light the unholy nexus between Pinarayi Vijayan and the BJP and the mediator role being played by Vellapally Natesan.

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