Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 03, 2019 : A Congress politician from Kerala was expelled by the state party leadership today, nearly a week after he claimed in a social media post that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was serving the nation by "adopting Gandhian values". The move comes amid growing perception that the politician, AP Abdullakutty, is warming up to the BJP, NDTV reported.
Mr Abdullakutty expressed regret over the Congress’ decision, but maintained that he had done nothing wrong. "It’s sad news, but I did expect something like this from Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran. I’m not an opportunist. I am a person who takes a stand on developmental issues," news agency ANI quoted him as saying soon after the news of his expulsion emerged. The politician, however, has denied all suggestions that he was keen on joining PM Modi’s party.
The controversy first arose on May 29, when Mr Abdullakutty credited the Prime Minister’s success in the recent Lok Sabha elections to his "adoption of Gandhian values" and spoke highly of central projects such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and Ujjwala Yojana. In the Facebook post titled "On Narendra Modi’s impressive victory", the Kerala politician had said that members of the BJP were just as surprised at their party’s victory as opposition leaders. "Mahatma Gandhi had told social workers that when you formulate a policy, you should remember the face of a poor man you have met. Modi implemented it accurately," it read.
He also claimed in the write-up that PM Modi’s policies had benefited the country to a great extent. "Once we cross the Kerala border, what we see is independent India’s most pathetic sight -- open defecation by the poor of the country. Modi, to a certain extent, gave justice to them. The free LPG connections came as a huge relief to six crore BPL mothers, who until then, used only dried cowdung and wood in their kitchens," he said.
Mr Abdullakutty’s endorsement of PM Modi had shocked many in his party. Senior Congress leader K Muraleedharan said that party workers shouldn’t be seen praising BJP leaders, and maintained that there can be "no compromise" on the matter. Mullapally Ramachandran, for his part, recommended "strong action" against the politician.
Incidentally, this was not the first time Mr Abdullakutty has faced action for praising the Prime Minister. In 2009, he was expelled from the Communist Party of India-Marxist for violating party discipline by extolling PM Modi while the latter was still the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The politician, who had been elected to the Lok Sabha from Kannur in 1999 and 2004, then went on to join the Congress.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front won 19 of Kerala’s 20 parliamentary seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections.