Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 5 (ANI): Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the issue of land allotment to the Satsang Foundation, founded by Sri M is unrelated to the talks that were held between CPI (M) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) under the mediation by the spiritual leader.
His statement comes after Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) raised concerns over the Vijayan government's decision to give four acres of land in Thiruvananthapuram to the Satsang Foundation, founded by Sri M.
Vijayan asserted that the peace talks were held between CPI (M) and the RSS under the mediation by spiritual leader Sri M to end the political conflict and save human lives.
"My assessment of Sri M is that he is a secular yogi. He is not a spokesman for any kind of sectarianism. That's why I am willing to associate with someone like him," he said.
Clarifying the controversy over the land allotment, Vijayan said: "Peace talks were held in the 1980s to end the ongoing political conflict with the RSS... Some people are quoting Dinesh Narayan's book 'The RSS and the Making of the Deep Nation' to say peace talks were held with the RSS leadership in the presence of Sri M to avoid clashes. I did not see in that book saying about a political alliance. But the same book mentioned a secret discussion between Congress and the RSS in the 1980s. It was a secret discussion that preceded a move that sowed the seeds for the growth of communalism in Indian politics."
"It was mentioned on page number 107 of the book that Banwarilal Purohit, a Congress MP from Nagpur, talked to Balasahib Deoras, the then RSS chief, on behalf of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi," he added.
The Chief Minister said that the book also mentions the need for the RSS to support Congress in the Lok Sabha elections.
"If you read that book in its entirety, you can clearly see that it was the Congress that started and continued the secret political relationship with the RSS. However, the discussions that have taken place here had been conducted to save human lives. The discussion is being held because it was thought that no one should be killed. Congress leaders have also taken part in such peace talks... We are always ready to negotiate with anyone to end violence and ensure peace," Vijayan said.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that it was the government's gratitude to Sri M for playing a mediator's role between CPI (M )and the RSS.
The election for 140-member Kerala Assembly will be held on April 6, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had announced. The counting of votes will be held on May 2. (ANI)