Days after the Centre announced Padma Bhushan for former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday accused leaders of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) of troubling the scientist for political reasons. He was speaking at a rally in Thrissur on the final day of the state convention of BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha.
“A few decades ago, a hardworking and patriotic ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan was implicated in a fake case just because a few UDF leaders were settling political scores. Imagine, for their own politics, they damaged national interest and troubled a scientist. It is an honour that our government had the opportunity to confer a Padma award on Nambi Narayanan,” Modi said.
In 1994, Narayanan was accused of selling state secrets, only to be later acquitted by the Supreme Court. The apex court in 2018 ordered the Kerala government to pay Rs 50 lakh as compensation to him. The case had created upheaval in Kerala and paved the way for the resignation of K Karunakaran, the then Congress CM.
Targeting the ruling CPM over Sabarimala issue, Modi said, “The issue of the Sabarimala temple has got the attention of the nation. People are seeing the manner in which the Communist government is disrespecting all aspects of our culture.” He also slammed the Congress on the issue. “Congress’ opportunism has been exposed. They say one thing in Delhi and another in Kerala. That is not going to work,’’ he said.
The Prime Minister accused the Left and the Congress of corruption. In the past three years, several LDF ministers had to quit over corruption charges and the solar scam of UDF regime is well-known, he said.
He said neither the Congress nor the Communists have any concern for women empowerment. “If they did, they would not have opposed the NDA government’s move to end triple talaq,” said Modi.
The Prime Minister further said, “Leaders of the CPM and Congress talking about democracy is the century’s biggest joke. In Kerala, there are political killings. In Madhya Pradesh, BJP workers are being killed. Many Congress leaders even today live with the mindset of the Emergency.”
He said Opposition parties are bankrupt when it comes to constructive agenda in development. “All they have is hatred for Modi. Their day begins with abusing Modi and ends with abusing Modi. Abuse me as much as you want, but do not prevent the attempt to create jobs for youth. Abuse me as much as you want, but don’t harm our poor. Abuse me as much as you want, but don’t put barrier in India’s progress. Abuse me as much as you want, but don’t abuse our great nation,’’ he said.
“Four years ago, you installed me as your watchman in Delhi. As long as I am there, I shall not allow corruption. I shall not allow the culture and unity of the nation to be destroyed,’’ said Modi.
He said the Congress and the Communists have zero respect for institutions. “For them, any institution, be it armed forces, police, CBI or CAG, everybody is wrong, but they are right. They are even questioning the Election Commission. The entire nation watched a press conference in London where they were questioning the tradition of Indian democracy. And who was addressing that press conference, a topmost Congress leader,’’ he said.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the integrated refinery expansion complex and mounded storage vessel at the LPG bottling plant in Kochi. He also laid the foundation stone for a petrochemical complex at BPCL in Kochi Refinery.