Ezhava leader Natesan begins Kerala-wide tour

Kasargode (Kerala), Nov 23 (IANS) Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Sangom leader Velapally Natesan on Monday began his Kerala-wide yatra from here to form an alliance of various Hindu caste outfits and launch his keenly-awaited political party.

Natesan, a leader of the backward Eazhava caste and also the general secretary of SNDP Yogam which owes its allegiance to social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, has said his new party would fight for the rights of the majority community which has been sidelined in the state.

The much-publicised yatra from Kasargode, the northern most district of the state, has evoked sharp reaction from the ruling Congress and opposition Left. However, the BJP state unit has welcomed the yatra.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Monday condemned Natesan’s action.

“The SNDP Yogam was formed for propagating the ideology of the renowned social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, but Natesan is taking this to the stables of the BJP and the RSS combine. This act of Natesan would not be accepted by the followers of Guru,” said Chandy.

In Kerala, more than 50 percent of the 3.25 crore population is Hindu, with the numerical strength of Ezhavas slightly more than Nairs.

BJP state unit president V. Muraleedharan, who took part in a function in the morning at Kasargode that was part of the yatra, expressed happiness and wished Natesan all the best for his efforts.

CPI-M leader V.S. Achuthanandan said Natesan would begin his yatra in the traditional dress of the SNDP Yogam, but when he reaches the capital city he would be wearing khaki shorts and white shirt.

“And once that happens he would have a ‘jalasamadhi’ (death caused by drowning) in the beach at Shangumugham,” said Achuthanandan.

Just before embarking on his yatra, Natesan said he still fails to understand why the traditional rival fronts – Left Democratic Front and United Democratic Front – in the state have become uneasy ever since this yatra was announced.

“Is this not a democracy, where anyone has the right to go forward with one’s own thinking. All others can have their own political party and there’s no whimper of protest, but the moment, I announced of floating a political party, they have become jittery.”

“We also want to have our rightful share in the pie as now a major chunk is now shared by minority communities. Just see the iron grip that the Indian Union Muslim League has over this government,” Natesan added.

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