In a rare direct attack on the Left, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday sharply censured Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s LDF government, for favouring its own party workers when it comes to providing jobs.
Gandhi is known for not taking on the Left parties directly, even though his party is the primary challenger to the CPI (M) and its allies in Kerala.
But on Tuesday in Thiruvananthapuram, speaking at the concluding session of the state-wide ‘Aiswarya Kerala Yatra’ taken out by Congress leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala, Gandhi said, “In Kerala, the most dynamic state, youngsters are wondering why they can’t get jobs. The Left Front said they will make Kerala perfect. The question is — Perfect for whom? Perfect for the people of Kerala or perfect for the Left organisation? If you are one of their people, every single job is available to you.”
He continued, “If you carry their flag, any amount of gold smuggling is allowed. You can sit in the chief minister’s office and do that job. But if you are a young Keralite, then you have to protest, shout and scream to try and get your right.” Gandhi was alluding to the gold smuggling and money laundering cases in which M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary to the chief minister, is accused of involvement.
In the context of the PSC rank-holders protesting in front of the secretariat against the government’s back-door appointments’, Gandhi said the CM would have spoken to them had they been workers of the Left parties.
“The chief minister doesn’t care if you die, he will not speak to you. Why? Because you are not a Left Front worker. I guarantee you that if youngsters were Left Front workers, the chief minister would be talking to them right now…giving them every single job they don’t deserve. And when the Congress workers and people of Kerala try to fight non-violently, you beat them and kill them. You can kill as many of us as you want, but there will be scores of Congress workers who will fight you. We are not scared of your violence. We are not scared of your methods,” he said.
The Congress leader also raised questions on the ‘slow pace’ of probe into the gold smuggling and money laundering cases by various central agencies, such as the CBI, ED and the NIA.
“I don’t understand why are the cases filed against those who worked in the chief minister’s office progressing so slowly? Why are they taking so much time? Why are the CBI, ED and other agencies not attacking the Left Front? I am a bit confused. I know when you fight the BJP, the BJP attacks you 24 hours of the day. There is only one reason the BJP is going slow on these cases. You can figure out what that reason is,” he said.
Prior to the campaign rally, Gandhi paid a visit to the protest site in front of the Secretariat to talk to the PSC rank holders. During his three-day trip to Kerala, the Congress scion also led a tractors’ rally in support of farmers in his constituency of Wayanad.