The Congress party in Kerala alleged that newly-appointed Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons is a "bridge" between the ruling CPI-M in the state and BJP in Delhi.
Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Vice President of the state Congress party and legislator V.D. Sateeshan said "It's now crystal clear that the CPI-M, especially Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is not interested in forging a secular front to fight the BJP.
"Just look at the reception that was given by Vijayan to Alphons in Delhi soon after he was sworn in. This reminds us of the electoral alliance that the CPI-M and Jana Sangh had in 1977 in Kerala. At the time the CPI-M said they forged the alliance because 'democracy' in the country was threatened. Now, is democracy under Modi safe? And is that why the CPI-M is treating the Congress as its enemy, than the BJP," asked Sateeshan.
He added that while the Congress in West Bengal was willing to support Sitaram Yechury for the Rajya Sabha, Vijayan and his faction were unwilling to support Yechury, as the latter was always opposing the BJP.
The elevation of Alphons, a former bureaucrat who joined the BJP in 2011 after quitting as Left supported legislator, was a shock to many in the state unit of the BJP, as there were several seasoned veterans in the party here who were eyeing a cabinet post.
Incidentally, it was Vijayan who was largely instrumental in Alphons' decision to quit as IAS officer in 2006 and asked him to contest from the Kanjirapally assembly constituency as a Left supported independent, which he won.
"While the state BJP leadership failed to applaud the elevation of Alphons as a Minister, hours after he was sworn in Vijayan honoured him by giving a feast. He is the bridge between the CPI-M in Kerala and the BJP in Delhi," added Sateeshan.