Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP in Kerala on Wednesday accused Indian National League (INL) leader and state minister Ahammad Devarkovil of having ‘close links’ with the banned outfit Rehab India Foundation, an allied organisation of the Popular Front of India, and sought his removal from the state cabinet.
However, the minister outrightly denied the charges of the saffron party leadership, saying it was yet another attempt by BJP state chief K Surendran to make his presence felt in the media by raising “ridiculous nonsense.” INL, formed by leaders who had parted ways with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) years ago, is a coalition partner in the CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front in the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
Devarkovil, who holds Ports, Museum and Archaeology portfolios in the Vijayan government, termed the BJP and Surendran’s allegation connecting him and his party with the banned outft as ‘unfounded.’ “To oppose all types of terrorist groups without any compromise is the declared policy of the INL, the Left front and the state cabinet,” the minister said in a statement.
However, Surendran alleged that INL had links with the Rehab Foundation and it was shocking to know that minister Devarkovil had connections with the outlawed outfit.
Further charging INL chief Muhammed Sulaiman with being the chairman of the Foundation, he sought to know how can a party having direct ties with a terror funding organisation be a part of the state cabinet.
“The Chief Minister should give an answer. If the state government respects the sovereignty and integrity of the country, the minister should be expelled from the cabinet. The INL should be kicked out of the Left front,” Surendran demanded.
It was dangerous to have the leader of a party, linked to an outfit, which was trying to destroy the country, in the state cabinet, the BJP leader added.
He also warned of mass agitations if Devarkovil was allowed to continue as minister.
Rehab India Foundation, registered as a non-governmental organisation, was one among the several allied outfits banned along with PFI by the Centre through a late night notification.