Thiruvananthapuram: With Congress veteran AK Antony`s comment that there had been a slight erosion in people`s confidence in the party`s secular commitment sparking a debate, his confidant and KPCC president VM Sudheeran on Sunday clarified his senior colleague`s remarks were "Kerala-centric and well-intentioned".
"Antony has made this comment with the Congress and the UDF it leads in Kerala in mind. These were well-intentioned and meant to guide the party and coalition in proper direction," Sudheeran told reporters in Thrissur.
In what was interpreted as a self-critical remark, Antony had two days back said at a party function here that people`s faith in the party`s commitment to secularism appeared to have eroded slightly and it was vital to regain the confidence of the masses to move forward.
Antony also cautioned that it was important for the Congress to maintain the support and goodwill of all sections without giving in to the feeling that it had a slant towards some section or the other.
The senior leader also voiced serious concern at the growing influence of communal and fascist elements in Kerala`s polity despite it being a place where secularism has deep roots.
Political observers here have interpreted it as a statement made to drive home the consequences for the party and the UDF arising from the impression of excessive influence being wielded by parties like Indian Union Muslim League and Christian-dominated Kerala Congress, rather than a sweeping remark at the state affairs of Congress at national level.
In the past also, Antony had sent similar signals to the UDF against excessive clout of the pro-minority parties and possible alienation of the majority community if such an impression was allowed to gain strength.