Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan…

Kochi/Thiruvananthapuram: A war of words has erupted between Kerala’s opposition leader V D Satheesan of the Congress and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) following former minister Saji Cheriyan’s remarks on the Indian Constitution.

A legal battle too is set to commence as the latter is in no mood to go soft on

Satheesan had said that Cheriyan’s comments on the Indian Constitution were no different from the views of M S Golwalkar, a former head of the RSS. The RSS sent a legal notice to Satheesan for his statement on Golwalkar.

However, Satheesan said that he stood by his words and refused to withdraw his comment on Golwalkar. In response, photos of Satheesan taking part in RSS events in the past appeared on social media. One picture, uploaded by BJP state vice-president C Sadanandan, showed Satheesan at a book release function organised as part of the district meeting of pro-RSS organisation Bharateeya Vichara Kendram at Thrissur in 2013.

In his reaction, Satheesan said that he took part in the event because it was organised in connection with the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Moreover, several cultural leaders had participated in the event, said Satheesan.

Meanwhile, state general secretary of Hindu Aikyavedi R V Babu shared a photo of Satheesan at an RSS seminar on religious fundamentalism organised at Manakkapady School, Paravoor, in 2006. This photo showed Satheesan lighting a lamp in front of the pictures of Bharat Mata and Golwalkar.

“If Satheesan continues his stand, we will consider the next option. He had no reason to drag Golwakar into the Saji Cheriyan issue,” said ‘prantha karyavahak’ for Kerala P E Easwaran.

Union Minister V Muraleedharan said that Satheesan’s attempt to portray Golwalkar as a person who opposed the Constitution would be futile. “Satheesan may well consider what has happened to his party, the Congress, by pursuing anti-Hindu policies,” said Muraleedharan.

Referring to the confrontation between the opposition leader and the RSS, state minister P Rajeev – who belongs to the CPM – said: “In Kerala, the BJP and the Congress work as a team. Satheesan himself has earlier admitted to receiving BJP votes.”

This article first appeared in onmanorama.com