George Iype in Kochi
Having decided to put up Colonel Laxmi Sehgal as its presidential candidate against the National Democratic Alliance nominee A P J Abdul Kalam, the Left parties have launched a campaign to expose what they claim are the missile scientist's 'links' with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Leaders of the Communist Party of India -- Marxist seem to be on an overdrive in Kerala holding press conferences and conducting street corner meetings proclaiming that Kalam is not the right choice as the President of India.
Some CPI-M leaders privately claim that Kalam got the presidential nomination as a result of a deal the RSS struck with the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"Ever since the nuclear tests of 1998, RSS leaders have been ardent Kalam supporters. The RSS publications across the country have been proclaiming Kalam to be the true Indian," a senior CPI-M leader pointed out.
CPI-M has also dug up Kalam's 'poetic connections' with the RSS. Communist leaders said that a poem written by Kalam found its first expression in Kesari, a vernacular Malayalam RSS mouthpiece published from Kozhikode.
In the poem published in Kesari's annual issue in 2000, Kalam explains the progress of missile development in India and his dreams about the future of the country. Kesari had also published a number of articles on Kalam hailing him as a visionary whose mission it said 'is an article of faith for the RSS in the country'.
According to CPI-M leader V S Achuthanandan, the very fact that Kalam decided to publish his poems in Kesari does not augur well for the presidency and for the country.
"It is not the CPI-M's job to investigate whether Kalam had any links with the RSS. But it was not proper from his part to publish his poems in RSS magazines. I hope he does not continue this once he becomes the President," the CPI-M leader told rediff.com.
Achuthanandan said that ever since the nuclear tests of 1998, the Hindutva leaders have been hailing Kalam 'as their man'.
"I do not know if Kalam has any definite links with the RSS and other Hindu organisations. But it is certain that the BJP and RSS people very much wanted Kalam to be their presidential candidate after the nuclear tests," Achuthandan said.
CPI-M leaders said that a number of RSS publications across the country have been publicly hailing Kalam as the 'driving force behind the Hindutva brigade'. They point out that Kalam's pictures and posters have been gracing the offices of BJP and its affiliate Hindu organisations across the country since 1998.
One of the pamphlets that the CPI-M local leaders released on Monday quotes from RSS publication Panchajanya: "Indianism is Hindutva. This does not mean that Muslims should convert to Hinduism or Christians should go to temples. What it does mean is that you can be what you like, but share the same vision of Abdul Kalam. This vision is the driving force behind the RSS."
"If the RSS says that their driving force is Kalam, then there is reason to believe that he is not be the right choice as the President of India," the pamphlet added.
The pamphlet distributed across Kerala also said the person occupying the post of President, which is the highest Constitutional office, must be able to grasp and respond to the political developments in the country. It added that Kalam does not possess these 'presidential qualities'.
The 11th President of India: Complete Coverage
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