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CAA-NRC: Rift in Kerala Congress Over Joint Protest of LDF and UDF

Meanwhile, the protests against CAA-NRC continue in the state; LDF has also given a call for human chain on January 26.
CAA-NRC: Rift in Kerala Congress

Following the joint protest by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on December 16, there are reports of rifts within the UDF camp. The statement of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran reportedly led to the starting of these rifts.

Two days after the joint protest at Martyrs’ Column in Thiruvanthapuram, which witnessed the participation of people from all walks of life across the political spectrum, Mullappally Ramachandran had stated that Congress—the leading party in UDF—will not ally with CPI(M) for further protests against CAA-NRC.

“KPCC will not join hands with CPI(M) and will not continue the joint protest with them against the Citizenship Amendment Act,” Mullappally told the media on December 18. He even added that the Congress had started the anti-fascist agitation in Parliament, while no leader from the Left parties had supported them.

“So, it is clear that what CPI(M) is doing now is not genuine. They are doing this with the aim of attracting the minority vote bank,” he added.

On December 16, along with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of CPI(M), Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala of Congress and other party representatives from both the fronts had attended the Satyagraha at Martyrs’ Column. 

Also read: Massive Rally in Chennai Against CAA

While Mullappally targeted Ramesh Chennithala for sharing the dais with the chief minister, several senior political leaders of Congress in Kerala have voiced their opposition to the KPCC president’s stand. More than the group equations of the Congress, both A (Anthony group led by Oommen Chandy) group and I (Indira Congress led by Chennithala) group leaders have come in support of the Opposition leader.

KPCC vice president and member of legislative Assembly, VD Satheesan, on December 22 said that the CAA and proposed NRC are to be defended together.

“Congress is fighting against CAA along with the opposition parties at the national level. AICC (All India Congress Committee) president Sonia Gandhi met President Ram Nath Kovind to urge him to roll back the Act. She was accompanied by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram yechury, DMK leader TR Baalu and CPI national general secretary D Raja. So what is the reason to oppose such a joint protest in Kerala?” he asked

Earlier, AICC general secretary, Oommen Chandy, had also supported Chennithala’s stand to associate with the ruling front to protest against CAA. The joint protest was a good message for the entire nation, according to Chandy.

Top leaders of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), one of the main allies of Congress, have also come in support of the joint protest. IUML general secretary KPA Majeed has reportedly defended the joint protest saying that there was nothing wrong in uniting against CAA. Senior leader of IUML and parliamentarian ET Muhammed Basheer has also urged the parties to set away their difference of opinion and unite for the cause. He categorically said that it is the time to fight together by setting away the difference of opinion.

Other constituents in UDF, like Kerala Congress (M) and Kerala Congress (J) are also in support of the joint protest and PJ Joseph of KC(M) and Anoop Jacob of KC(J) had even attended the Satyagraha on December 16.

The only support for the KPCC president came from Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), another constituent of UDF. RSP, an earlier ally of CPI(M) which had joined the UDF camp slightly before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, has reportedly expressed their strong dissent over the joint protest.

Also read: CAA/NRC: Modi's Delhi Speech a Bundle of Untruths, Say Left Parties

The protests against CAA and NRC continue to rock the state, with CPI(M) calling for a joint protest by both the fronts. The party has also alleged that the statement from the Mullappally Ramachandran was because of narrow mindedness. The party had noted that a joint protest against CAA is inevitable.

LDF has already given a call for human chain on January 26 against the CAA and CPI(M) in a press note appealed the people from all parties to take part in the human chain.

The state is also witnessing innovative ways of protests. Along with the door to door campaigns of the Left parties and their mass organisations, Congress and its allies are also focusing on making the people aware about the possible repercussions of the CAA and how it affects the Constitution of India.


The youth organisation, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), has continuously been organising massive rallies across the state. Public meetings and protests marches are being organised under the banner of LDF as well as under the banner of parties including CPI(M) and CPI. The migrant workers in the state also marked their presence in these protests against CAA and NRC.

On December 22, at Nadapuram area in Kozhikode district, the migrant workers who were part of a protest march were targeted by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers and were brutally beaten.

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