The CPIM has found itself on the defensive for the editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Deshabhimani’ addressing Congress president Rahul Gandhi by his mock name 'Pappu’.
The editorial, ‘This Pappu Strike Will Complete Congress Rout’ came a day after Rahul's candidature in Wayanad was announced, reflecting CPIM fears of its victory prospects in several seats getting affected.
Party leader and Finance Minister Thomas Isaac was quick to respond, saying it was ‘mindless mistake’ and was not the ‘Left stand’. Deshabhimani resident editor PM Manoj, in a Facebook post, admitted the usage as ‘inappropriate’ and it was the result of ‘lack of caution’. Though he added that the paper did not mind rectifying the error, no mention has been made so far.
The editorial had said Rahuli’s decision to contest from Kerala was out of fear of defeat in his traditional constituency Amethi. It also had a jibe at Rahul for following a trend set by his grandmother and mother - contesting from two Lok Sabha seats.
It also said the Congress eyed Wayanad, expecting support from Muslim League as the constituency had a sizeable Muslim population. It also had a dig at soft Hindutva stand of Rahul who visited temples and claimed he was a brahmin and had the sacred thread.
The Congress was quick to respond, saying the article reflected the CPIM’s “mindset which has been to blindly oppose the grand old party”.
“The ‘Desabahimani’ article is on the lines of the BJP’s culture,” said former chief minister Oommen Chandy.
Congress legislator VT Balram said the derogatory remarks smacked of 'intellectual and moral pauperism'.