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SDPI's support to UDF: BJP in Kerala urges Rahul Gandhi to explain his stand

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Wayanad (Kerala), Apr 2 (PTI) The BJP in Kerala on Tuesday urged Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to explain his stand over the support offered to the UDF by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political arm of the banned Popular Front of India.

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A day after the SDPI state leadership said that they have decided to support the Congress-led UDF in the Lok Sabha elections, BJP state chief K Surendran alleged that it is an organisation that is trying to break up the nation.

Surendran is the BJP candidate contesting against Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad.

The saffron party leader accused the SDPI and the PFI of openly declaring their intention to allegedly kill Hindus and Christians, destroy temples and churches and attack BJP leaders and religious heads.

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"Now the SDPI has openly declared support for the Congress party in all 20 constituencies. We all know why the PFI was banned. Such a party has declared support to the Congress," he pointed out.

Surendran alleged that the Congress has said that it would welcome support from all sides.

"This is extremely shocking and the Congress should explain this. Rahul Gandhi must make his stand clear. The Wayanad MP who speaks about secularism day and night should explain his position," the BJP leader added.

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Surendran also asked Gandhi whether it was his party's votebank politics and whether he and the grand-old party were compromising the national interest for the votebank.

The Congress on Tuesday opted not to give a clear answer as to whether they would accept or reject the support offered by the SDPI.

AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal, also a Lok Sabha candidate in Alappuzha constituency, said the Congress party never sought any help from the SDPI and no discussion has happened in this regard.

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"We have not sought any such help. And if anyone is casting vote during election, it is their individual choice," he told reporters in Alappuzha when his reaction was sought.

He also said that as candidates, everyone's vote is needed during elections but no compromise would be made in terms of the party's ideology.

The ruling CPI(M) also slammed the Congress and the UDF over the SDPI's offer of support and said they would get a befitting reply against it in all the constituencies in the state during the polls.

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CPI(M) State Secretary M V Govindan alleged that there was an alliance of the "Congress-Muslim League-BJP" in the state before and now the SDPI was also made a part of it.

"They will get a befitting reply against this alliance in all constituencies...especially in Vatakara in Kozhikode district," he said.

On Monday, the SDPI extended its support to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. However, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan told the media that the UDF had not reached any understanding with the SDPI.

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SDPI state President Muvattupuzha Ashraf Moulavi, who met the media in Kochi, said that after considering all factors, the party had decided to support a secular front -- the UDF.

"In Kerala, we have decided to support the Congress-led UDF which is spearheading the anti-BJP bloc," Moulavi had told the media on Monday.

The SDPI leader also said the party has not fielded any candidates in Kerala but has 18 candidates in various parts of the country.

"Our Constitution is being challenged. The BJP is bringing in laws to provide citizenship on the basis of religion. Uniform Civil Code is planned, which will affect the diversity of the country. We will support the Congress-led UDF which is fighting the BJP at the national level," Moulavi had said.

Satheesan, stating that many parties are extending support to the UDF, had said, "We have not held any discussion with the SDPI nor have reached any understanding." Polling will be held in Kerala on April 26 for the Lok Sabha elections and the nationwide results will be declared on June 4. PTI LGK ANE

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