The Congress in Kerala has been caught in a dilemma as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a tactical move, tweeted the letter of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lauding the Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS). This comes even as the Congress-led Opposition in Kerala boycotted the event for not keeping up the promises in the first edition.
The event, which is a platform for Keralites living around the globe to come together, is hosted by the Kerala government, once in two years. The second edition of the event began in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, January 1.
Pinarayi Vijayan addressed the delegate meeting of LKS on Thursday prior to which he tweeted the letter of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi.
Thank you Shri. Rahul Gandhi for your warm greetings to the Loka Kerala Sabha (@LokaKeralaSabha).— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) January 2, 2020
In his message, @RahulGandhi opined that "the Loka Kerala Sabha is a great platform to connect with the diaspora, and recognize their contribution." pic.twitter.com/3G4KYMSllc
However, Congress has accused Pinarayi of creating a controversy, with Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala saying that the letter was sent on December 12 while the Congress-led opposition UDF decided to keep away from the LKS on December 20, Chennithala said.
Rahul Gandhi's letter to the CM said, "I congratulate the members of the Malayalee diaspora for their phenomenal success, and for being worthy ambassadors of the State. The Loka Kerala Sabha is a great platform to connect with the diaspora and recognise their contribution,” Rahul’s message reads.
“Malayalees have played an instrumental role in the nation building efforts of many countries and cemented the community's reputation for its dedication and determination. Successive generations have excelled in various fields and paved way for a better future for lakhs of others.
While Malayalees are widely celebrated for their cosmopolitan outlook, it is heartening to see them remaining firmly rooted in their local communities. The sheer number of initiatives spearheaded by Pravasi (non-resident) Malayalees in Kerala, stand testament to their commitment to give back to their home country. As the torchbearers of the glorious heritage and culture of this State, I hope that the diaspora continues to excel in all their endeavours,” it further reads.
However, Ramesh Chennithala further accused Pinarayi of distorting the intentions of Rahul Gandhi’s message.
The letter talks about the contributions of Non-Resident Keralites and it's not fair, turning it into a controversy. By doing this, the CM has exploited the decency of Rahul Gandhi which is objectionable, Chennithala said.
“The UDF unanimously took the decision to boycott Loka Kerala Sabha. There is nothing wrong in the decision to boycott Loka Kerala Sabha. It's not mandatory to inform either the All India Congress Committee (AICC) or the central unit of the party on such decisions which a state unit can decide on,” Chennithala told media.
He reiterated that the event is an extravaganza and that the Opposition won't step back from its stand against it.
AICC General Secretary KC Venugopal also said that there is no need to drag Rahul Gandhi into a controversy. The Opposition members had resigned from LKS protesting against the suicide of a former NRK person Sajan, allegedly because the license was not granted for his venture in the state.