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Madani, the rabble rouser set to get back to politics

Aug 02, 2007 02:01 PM IST Politics Politics

Coimbatore / New Delhi: Abdul Nasser Madani, the rabble rouser who was once branded as a militant, is out of jail after nine years and is on his way back to active politics. Madani's acquittal in South India's biggest terror attack, the Coimbatore blasts, was unexpected. The 1998 attack claimed 52 lives and injured over 260. Now Madani’s party workers feel that justice has finally been done to their charismatic leader. “First priority is Madani’s safety. He will definitely get back to politics,” PDP General Secretary Poonthura Siraj said. Politically, it was a huge relief for both coalitions of Kerala – the ruling LDF and the Opposition UDF as politicians of both combines had been openly supporting him for years. As news of Madani's acquittal spread, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan didn't hide his joy. “Madani was not given the treatment, which he deserved as a free citizen. Only after repeated interventions by the Kerala government he got some relief,” Achuthanandan said. Madani's acquittal is also politically beneficial to the DMK and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. But at the same time his archrival and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa has lost a very powerful weapon in her armour. The BJP too is not amused. After all Madani was accused of trying to eliminate its top leadership including the then party president L K Advani. “We should not forget that Kerala Assembly had tried to pass a resolution. LDF, UDF, DMK backed him,” MP and BJP Spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said. But the Madani story is far from over. Many of his supporters have deserted him during his long years in jail and his failing health is also a matter of concern. After the initial euphoria of his acquittal Madani has to prove his leadership all over again. And if he gets back to his old style of politics, it will surely lead to a lot of fresh communal tension. (With inputs from Naveen Nair)