CPI(M)’s Politbureau member and Kerala State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has courted a major controversy with an allegedly anti-national and anti-patriotic statement that India is a partner of an axis of imperialist powers led by the US that was attacking China from all sides.

Kodiyeri made the pro-China remark at the delegates’ meet held as part of the Alappuzha district conference of the CPI(M) in Kayamkulam the other day. He also justified North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un for using his country’s resources for strengthening the defence forces in order to resist US designs instead of expanding welfare programmes.

“The 19th congress of the Chinese Communist Party had decided not to allow any country to interfere in China’s internal affairs. It also decided that China would not remain silent if any country interfered in another country’s internal affairs. An axis of countries like US, Japan, Australia and India has taken shape for attacking China from all sides,” he was quoted as saying.

Kodiyeri went on to blame America for arming South Korea with the objective of destroying North Korea. He said that Pyongyang was duty-bound to resist this. America had been blocking through military mobilization the efforts of North Korea for achieving economic growth by using natural resources, he charged.

“North Korea decided to bolster its defence capabilities in order to resist this American programme. Pyongyang is being forced to use the money it should be spending on welfare programmes for the development of defence capabilities to ensure the country’s existence,” the CPI(M) leader said at the party meeting.

This is not the first time the CPI(M) had extolled North Korea for its anti-American stand. A few days ago Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, another senior Politbureau member, had said that the US had been exerting pressures on North Korea but Pyongyang had been able to effectively resist American pressures.

Kodiyeri’s statement terming India as member of a US-led axis against China and supporting China which is accused of working against India by supporting Pakistan, has enraged a large section of people. Critics said that the communists in India had always shown a soft corner for China and this sentiment had come out in the open once again.

Coming down heavily on Kodiyeri, State BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan said the CPI(M) leader could go to China if he could not love Mother India. “Kodiyeri’s statement is anti-national. The CPI(M) should explain which country it is loyal to: India or China. He should be booked for pledging support for the forces opposing the nation,” he said.

Kodiyeri’s statement justified the BJP’ charge that the communist movement was a threat to the nation, Kummanam said. “The communist parties’ efforts had always been to destroy the nation from inside and this was the reason why the Indian communist parties had accepted the democratic system,” he added.

BJP’s State general secretary MT Ramesh said there was no point in criticizing Kodiyeri, Pinarayi and other CPI(M) leaders for their pro-China, pro-North Korea and alleged anti-India postures stating that their communist gene was responsible for this tendency. “Kodiyeri’s statement did not shock or surprise me because he is a communist leader,” Ramesh said.

Kodiyeri had drawn flak from various quarters last May for his criticisms against Indian Army. While referring to the demand raised by some quarters for imposition of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in his native district Kannur, infamous for its history of political violence, he had said that the Army could do anything to anybody if it was given extreme powers.

“They can do anything. If they see more than four persons standing together, they can shoot at them… They can take away any woman and rape her but nobody would have the right to question them,” he had said, adding that clashes were bound to take place between soldiers and people if the Army was deployed in Kannur.