Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday took out a whistlestop tour of poll-bound Kerala attacking the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-headed UDF, saying the two fronts had made the state a “den of corruption”.
Shah addressed two poll rallies at Kanjirapally in Kottayam district and Paravur in Kollam district, besides taking out road shows at Tripunithura in Kochi and Kanjikode in Palakkad.
“When UDF comes, then we see scandals like solar scam and when LDF is in power, there are the dollar and Gold scams,” he said.
Touching on the Sabarimala temple issue during his address at the Puttingal temple ground at Paravur, Shah said the “atrocities” committed by the LDF government against the Ayyappa devotees was “deplorable” and not seen in any other part of the country.
“The communist party is hellbent on finishing our culture and tradition…the BJP government believes that in matters related to temples, the government should not interfere and let the devotees handle the issues,” he said at the temple ground,where 114 people had been killed and over 300 injured on 10 April, 2016 when a stray firework landed on a stockpile of crackers triggering a massive blast.
The state had witnessed violent incidents after the state government decided to implement the 2018 Supreme court verdict allowing women of all age groups to offer prayers at the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala.
Slamming chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the gold smuggling case,he alleged that the Marxist leader had links with the prime accused in the scam.
“I call upon Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Ji to answer this straight question – Did the prime accused in the gold scam work in your office or not? “Did your government give this accused monthly remuneration of Rs 3 lakh?” Shah asked as he kickstarted the second leg of the election campaign in the southern state.
Taking a dig at the Congress, Shah said he had not seen such a “secular” party, which has allies like the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala, Pirzada in West Bengal, Badruddin Ajmal in Assam and in Maharashtra enjoying the fruits of power with Shiv Sena.
Targeting Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, the Union Home minister said: “Rahul baba came to Kerala on a picnic.The people should ask him how Congress is fighting Communists in Kerala and are partners in West Bengal.”
Shah also wanted to know from Vijayan why no probe was ordered on the alleged attack against officials of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Customs.
If it was any other Chief Minister, he would have resigned long back,Shah said. Shah pointed out when Congress was in government at both the Centreand in Kerala, then in five years, the state received only Rs 45,395 crore, but the Narendra Modi government during the past five years had allocated Rs 1,34,848 crore to the state.
The Union minister also took out a roadshow at Kanjikode in Palakkad this evening where the BJP has fielded E Sreedharan as its candidate .
Shah promises action against nuns’ harassment:
The alleged harassment of nuns belonging to a Keralabased congregation in Uttar Pradesh recently had its echo in the poll-bound southern state on Wednesday, with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan taking it up with the Centre and home minister Amit Shah promising strong action.
While Vijayan flagged concerns of freedom of individual rights in the incident, Shah pointed out that Uttar Pradesh was a BJP-ruled state and promised to bring before the law, those behind the incident.
According to officials in Jhansi, the nuns were detained on March 19 after local Bajrang Dal activists complained that two women were allegedly being taken forcibly for religious conversion.
The police said there was no basis in the complaint and all four women later took the next train to their destination in Odisha.
Shah, in the state to campaign for the party ahead of the 6 April Assembly polls, said, “I want to assure the people of Kerala that the culprits behind this incident will be brought to justice at the earliest.”
The issue was raised before Shah by BJP’s Kanjirappally assembly candidate K J Alphonse, who that said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in various meetings with the Christian community, “has assured equality for all.”
~With inputs from PTI~