Kerala BJP describes IUML rally as 'pro-Hamas'; criticises Tharoor's participation
Thiruvananthapuram | The BJP in Kerala on Friday criticised Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor for his participation in the Indian Union Muslim League's rally supporting Palestine, labelling it a "pro-Hamas" event.
A day after tens of thousands of IUML supporters hit the streets of Kozhikode, expressing solidarity with the people of war-ravaged Palestine, BJP state president K Surendran expressed concern that the conflict was being used to fuel communal tensions in the state.
The IUML rally in Kozhikode was "pro-Hamas," and anti-national slogans had been raised throughout the programme, he alleged in a press conference here.
The BJP leader alleged that Tharoor's participation in the rally, given his previous role as a UN diplomat, goes against the country's established stance on the issue.
Surendran claimed that Tharoor's attendance at the rally was a move to garner votes from communal groups, calling it an act of treason to support Hamas, which, according to him, backs anti-Indian forces.
He also accused Tharoor of trying to exploit communal polarisation ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
"It has now become clear that what they want is votes, not peace," Surendran said.
The BJP leader also accused senior IUML leader and MLA M K Munner of equating "Hamas terrorists" with freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh.
Earlier in the day, a leader of the ruling CPI(M) criticised Tharoor for his speech at the IUML rally, alleging that some of his remarks leaned towards Israel and that he failed to acknowledge it as a "terrorist" nation.
CPI(M) leader M Swaraj levelled the allegation against the Congress leader, referring to his remarks in his speech in which he, in unequivocal terms, condemned the attack carried out by Palestinian armed group Hamas in Israel on October 7, describing it as an 'act of terror'.
Tharoor responded to the social media backlash from pro-Hamas groups and some Left activists, emphasising his long- standing support for the people of Palestine and clarifying that one sentence from his speech was being taken out of context.
The IUML, a key ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, organised a huge rally in Kozhikode on Thursday condemning the reported indiscriminate killings in the Israeli attack on Gaza.
Tharoor, as the chief guest, condemned the ongoing war, terming it "one of the most distressing human rights catastrophes" witnessed over the past 19 days.