Popular Front chairman K M Shareef condemned Congress leader A K Antony’s statement which blamed minority appeasement of the party for its humiliating defeat in Lok Sabha elections. Shareef called the statement both baseless and irresponsible since he could not produce any proof to substantiate his allegation. He has cautioned Congress leadership about the danger of playing communal card in its vain attempt to reach out majority community.
Antony has made similar statements in the past with a view to please right wing groups. Though some Congress leaders have distanced themselves from his view, the party has neither officially condemned Antony nor asked him to withdraw the statement. It only shows that congress leaders still neither have an objective analysis of the election results nor learned right lessons from the debacle.
The election results have been viewed generally as people’s show of anger against UPA government rather than a mandate in favour of BJP. The minorities who voted for Congress in the last two elections were also compelled to register their protest because of the anti-minority policies of UPA-II. The Congress government even failed to implement the proclaimed minority welfare schemes. The innocent Muslim youth languishing jails did not get any relief under the previous government. And now one of its king makers is engaged in the foolish exercise of soul searching minority appeasement. K M Shareef reminded the Congress leaders that minorities are not that much foolish now.
No sane Indian would doubt the fact that UPA government was a failure by all means and handling of defence ministry by Antony was no exception. While these are the facts, Antony is either trying to dance in tune with the new winds of Hindutva communalism or trying to accomplish some personal agenda under the changed political climate. K M Shareef has asked the Congress leadership not to allow any dilution to the socialist and secular ideals upon which the nation of India and the party itself have been founded.