Hitting back at the BJP over the issue of political violence in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that some Union ministers and chief ministers who joined its padayatra had tried to vitiate the harmony in the state with their ‘provocative statements’. Reacting sharply to BJP leaders’ remarks that the Left party was responsible for the political violence in Kerala and that the state has become a land of ‘jihadi terror’, he said their ‘lies’ and ‘false propaganda’ was also a violation of the federal principles of the country. “It was unfortunate that some Union Ministers & CMs from other states forgot federal principles & tried to vitiate the harmony in Kerala’, Vijayan tweeted, a day after the conclusion of BJP’s ‘Jan Raksha Yatra’ in the state that culminated in a rally by party president Amit Shah. “Lies & false propaganda by 16 Union ministers, 4 CMs, one deputy CM, 25 MPs /MLAs & BJP national leaders imported for Yatra. Local media ignores, National media realised the facts; Social media taunts.” “End result :- NO RAKSHA for BJP/RSS’s hatred agenda in Kerala,” Vijayan tweeted. The chief minister said BJP’s ‘miserable’ performance in the recent Vengara bypoll was an ‘eye opener’ for all its leaders. “But India witnessed the truth & reality of double standards maintained by BJP & RSS. Their instigational tactics totally failed in Kerala,” he added. Vijayan also said that Kerala was ready to take on Shah’s challenge to debate on development matters.
He also wanted Shah to compare the developments of Kerala with any state ruled by the saffron party. Countering Shah’s remark that the chief minister should take responsibility for “killings of RSS and BJP workers,” CPI(M) State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan earlier said the BJP president and RSS should respond to the “killings” of CPI(M) workers. Balakrishnan described the Yatra as a failure and alleged that political violence in the state had gone up after 1970 and that RSS had a major role in it. “A total of 214 CPI(M) workers were killed by the RSS during the period,” the CPI(M) leader claimed.
Balakrishnan described Shah as a “forest tiger” trying to project himself as a “ponman” (a little bird), by preaching the message of peace. Referring to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s remark that ‘Kerala is ruled by rogues’, Balakrishnan said Parrikar was considered to be an educated person. But with this statement ‘it is clear now how a sub- standard CM he is’, the CPI-M leader added. Accepting Shah’s challenge to debate on development issues, the CPI(M) leader said Kerala was in the forefront in social and other sectors compared to any BJP-ruled state.
Flaying the BJP leaders for their statements that Kerala was a land of “love jihad” and “jihadi terror,” he said the “false campaign” of the saffron party was not against CPI(M), but a challenge to the people of the state. To counter BJP’s “false” propaganda, the party-led LDF would organise ‘Jana Jagran Yatra’ in all the 140 assembly constituencies from October 21, he added. However, the CPI(M) leader dismissed the possibility of joining hands with the Congress to take on BJP-RSS and said the Left would land in trouble if it ties up with the former.
“Today’s Congress leader is tomorrow’s BJP leader,” he said and wondered how the party can move along with them (Congress). He said the CPI(M) wanted a movement of democratic and secular forces to face the challenge of Sangh Parivar in the country. Amit Shah had flagged-off the 15-day-long yatra at Payyannur in Kannur on October 3, to highlight the ‘Left’s atrocities’ under the CPI(M)-led LDF rule. The padayatra had criss-crossed 11 districts in the state with four Chief Ministers, including Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, senior party leaders and Union ministers taking part in the high-pitched campaign against the ruling LDF.