Congress leader KV Thomas on Saturday hailed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as ‘pride of India’ after taking part in the ongoing national seminar. The seminar was organized by the ruling CPI(M) as part of its ongoing 23rd Party Congress in Kannur. Thomas has been at constant loggerheads with the Congress.
The state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan welcomed KV Thomas by gifting him a photo of Jesus Christ. He shared the platform with Vijayan and his Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK supremo M K Stalin. Addressing the huge gathering of CPI(M) activists as “comrades and friends”, Thomas began his speech lavishing praise on Vijayan and his administrative capabilities and development agenda.
“When I see you (audience), I feel my decision to come and attend this programme is absolutely correct. I believe that my arrival has become a strength for the Congress party also,” he said. The Congress leader extended whole-hearted support to Vijayan government’s ambitious Silver Line semi high speed rail corridor project which is being vehemently opposed by his party. Thomas said there is no need to oppose a development project only because it was brought by Vijayan.
Taking a dig at his party colleagues, Thomas also said Vijayan was working in a situation where everybody opposes him except people of the state.
“Pinarayi Vijayan is the pride of Kerala. Not just me, Stalin also shared the same view about the Kerala Chief Minister during his speech,” he said.
Vijayan, while speaking, said Thomas was invited to the CPI(M) seminar as a representative of the Congress party and he is now taking part in the conference also as a Congressman. Taking a dig at the Congress leadership who had warned Thomas not to take part in the CPI(M) seminar, he said nothing has happened to the senior leader even after he announced his decision to participate in the event and nothing big is going to happen tomorrow also.
Without mentioning the name of KPCC chief and Kannur strongman K Sudhakaran MP, a political archrival of Vijayan and the CPI(M), he said someone had threatened that Thomas’ nose would be chopped off if he takes part in the Marxist party’s seminar. “But, nothing has happened…he took part in the programme as a Congress leader. It is learnt that nothing will happen (to him)…nothing is going to happen tomorrow also. I am not going to predict anything,” Vijayan said in a sarcastic manner. The Marxist veteran concluded his speech thanking Thomas for sticking to his stand and fulfilling his word to attend the national seminar.
During the welcome speech, CPI(M) district secretary M V Jayarajan also criticised the Congress and Sudhakaran for banning leaders from taking part in the Left seminar. Defying the edict of his party leadership, Thomas on Thursday announced in Kochi that he would take part in the national seminar considering its contemporary significance but made it clear that he would not quit the Congress and remain as a partyman till his last breath.
Thomas, who held posts like union minister and minister in the state government when the Congress was in power both at the Centre and in the state, alleged that he was humiliated to the core and subjected to harsh social media campaigns by certain partymen.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had also been invited for this seminar but he was denied permission by the Congress party to attend it. The KPCC leadership said it would take an appropriate decision on the action to be taken against Thomas in case he participates in the seminar.
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