Why a surname is important to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan
By Telegraph 27-Aug-2019
Tushar is also president of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
He is the son of Vellappally Natesan, general secretary of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, the state’s largest caste-based socio-cultural organisation that represents the Ezhava community, the ruling CPM’s biggest vote bank.
Tushar had contested against Rahul Gandhi in the last Lok Sabha election from Wayanad, losing his deposit in a constituency where a third of the voters belong to the Ezhava community.
Vijayan has in the past never expressed concern for scores of Malayalis languishing in various jails in the Gulf region. But on Thursday he wrote to external affairs minister S. Jaishankar, expressing concern about Tushar’s “well-being and health” after coming to know of his incarceration through “news channels”.
“News channels have reported the arrest of Shri Thushar Vellappally, vice-president of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, at Ajman in United Arab Emirates.... I request your kind personal attention and intervention in this regard,” Vijayan said in the letter to Jaishankar.
Vijayan, however, seems to be blissfully unaware of a series of episodes aired on party television channel Kairali, depicting the plight of Malayalis jailed in the UAE on flimsy grounds.
Thushar, who had come to sell off a property he owned in Dubai, was arrested in the cheque-bounce case following a petition by another Keralite, Nazil Abdullah, a one-time partner of Vellappally Jr in his business in the Gulf region.
The chief minister in his letter has not mentioned anything about Abdullah, who has now accused Thushar of “swindling” many a Malayali in the UAE.
The urgency with which Vijayan acted in the case of Tushar has surprised many even in the CPM, although political parties by and large have been cautious in condemning the chief minister’s action — a realisation of the Ezhava vote share in the state.
Vellappally Natesan, who himself is facing a slew of money-laundering cases through his micro-finance organisations, has termed Thushar’s arrest a “trap”.
He refused to elaborate, even as the state BJP alleged a CPM hand in “trapping” Tushar.
Although most of the cases against Vellappally Sr have been moved by veteran CPM leader V.S. Achuthanandan, Natesan has been close to the Kannur lobby within the CPM led by Vijayan, even while making advances to Amit Shah and company.
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