KPCC keeps workers guessing on Tharoor’s participation in Palestine solidarity rally in Kozhikode
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) is keeping its party activists guessing about the participation of Congress Working Committee member (CWC) member Shashi Tharoor in the Palestine solidarity rally to be held at Kozhikode beach on Thursday even as a section of the Congress leaders and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) desire that he stay away from the event after his controversial reference to Hamas as ‘terrorists’ at a pro-Palestine rally organised by IUML last month.
At a news conference here on Monday, M.K. Raghavan, Kozhikode MP, and District Congress Committee (DCC) president K. Praveen Kumar said that invitations had been sent to several people including community leaders and that their participation would be confirmed only on Wednesday. Both of them, however, were doubtful about Mr. Tharoor’s presence at the rally due to a wedding in his family.
Mr. Raghavan said that All India Congress Committee general secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal would inaugurate the rally at 4 p.m., while KPCC president K. Sudhakaran would preside over the session. IUML State president Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal will deliver the keynote address. Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan will be the chief guest on the occasion while senior leader Ramesh Chennithala will administer the Palestine solidarity pledge. At least, 50,000 people would take part in the rally which would proclaim the resurrection of the Congress in Kozhikode district, Mr. Raghavan added.
Meanwhile, the DCC appeared jubilant that the district administration had agreed to its request to approve the Kozhikode beach as the venue for the rally. However, it would be some 100 metre away from the original site. The venue has been named after freedom fighter Mohammed Abdur Rahiman, Mr. Kumar said.
The party has now been allowed to set up its stage in front of the Beach Hospital, leaving Beach Freedom Square for the preparations of the State government’s public outreach programme, Navakerala Sadas, on Saturday in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his Cabinet colleagues are participating.
Mr. Kumar also said that the Congress had always viewed the war in Palestine as a humanitarian issue unlike the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which was allegedly using it for vote bank politics. “CPI(M)’s love for Palestine is a farce and is an attempt to garner minority votes in the forthcoming parliamentary polls,” he said.
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