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Kerala: Congress rejects SDPI's support for Lok Sabha Elections

Kerala's Opposition leader V D Satheesan on Thursday (April 4) said that the Congress does not require the support of the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

Kerala: Congress rejects SDPI's support for Lok Sabha Elections anr
First Published Apr 4, 2024, 2:00 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress party has unequivocally rejected the announcement made by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) regarding its support in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Leader of the Opposition, VD Satheesan, and acting KPCC President MM Hassan, have asserted that the party does not seek or desire support from the SDPI. They emphasized that individuals are free to exercise their voting rights without any influence or pressure.

The decision to reject SDPI's support stems from a strategic assessment by the Congress leadership. They believe that accepting support from the SDPI could potentially trigger a backlash against the Congress party, particularly in North India. 

Addressing the media, Opposition leader V D Satheesan said, "Communalism is the same, be it by the majority or minority. We do not want the backing of such groups. Our stand on SDPI's support is no different."

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) extended "unconditional" support to the Congress-led UDF in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Kerala. However, this gesture has placed the UDF in a challenging position, as both the BJP and the ruling Left (LDF) have criticized it for aligning with what they perceive as extremist groups. The SDPI is commonly perceived as the political wing of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI).

The party is concerned about the potential alienation of Hindu and Christian voters due to the announcement of support from the SDPI, which is widely perceived as the political arm of the Popular Front of India (PFI).

In the 2019 parliamentary elections, the SDPI contested 10 seats and garnered a total of 80,111 votes. Notably, it secured 19,106 votes in Malappuram and 18,124 votes in Ponnani, followed by 8,142 votes in Kannur, 5,749 votes in Palakkad, and 5,544 votes in Vadakara constituencies, despite significant minority consolidation in favor of the UDF. Additionally, SDPI candidates emerged victorious in 103 local body wards/divisions in 2020.

The BJP swiftly addressed the issue, with K Surendran, the party's state president and NDA candidate in Wayanad, denouncing the SDPI's support as backing from the Popular Front of India (PFI) and labeling it as a perilous development. Surendran highlighted that the PFI has been responsible for instigating riots in the state and accused them of perpetrating violence against Hindus and Christians.

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