Updated: March 24, 2021 9:36:26 pm
In poll-bound Kerala, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday asserted that people of the state should end the practice of electing LDF and UDF every five years and should vote for the BJP. “It is time to bring a change in Kerala. Senior bureaucrats such as E Sreedharan are also joining the BJP because they know only the BJP can help develop Kerala further under the leadership of PM Modi. LDF-UDF cannot,” he said.
In his election addresses today in the state, Shah targeted the ruling CPI (M) over the gold smuggling case, backdoor appointment of party cadres in government services and the entry of young women inside Sabarimala temple.
Addressing the NDA meetings in Kanjirappally in Kottayam and Chathannur in Kollam, the minister posed a few questions to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the gold smuggling case as well.
“I call upon Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to answer this straight question. Did the prime accused of the gold scam work in your office or not? Did your govt give the accused (Swapna Suresh) a monthly salary of Rs 3 lakh? Did this accused woman make foreign trips on state funds? Why did this accused woman come to the CM’s residence frequently? Did this accused woman make foreign trips on state funds and the Principal Secretary’s permission,” Shah asked.
The gold smuggling case pertains to the seizure of 30 kg gold, valued at Rs 14.82 crore, on July 5 last year at air cargo of Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin, from a diplomatic baggage that arrived from the UAE.
Taking a jibe at the Kerala government’s protest against the investigation by central agencies in the gold and dollar smuggling scandals, the Union Minister said if any scandal took place in the country, it will be probed by Indian agencies and not those from the United Nations. Shah said the people of the state see BJP as an alternative to the opposition UDF and ruling LDF.
Referring to the illegal appointments of cadres and sympathisers of the ruling party in the final leg of the LDF government, the Union Minister said the CPI (M) was controlling the Public Service Commission to provide government jobs to their cadres. “Even after getting high ranks in PSC, a youth ended life because of no jobs! Why? Only because he wasn’t from your (CPM) cadre?” Shah said.
The Union Minister Shah touched upon the Sabarimala temple issue and said the communist party is destroying the culture and tradition. “What heinous act they had done at Sabarimala. I want to tell you Vijayan that the government should not intervene in the matters of the temples, which should be given to the faithful,” Shah said.
The minister also attacked Congress for its alliance with Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala, Indian Federal Front in West Bengal and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. “What type of a secular party the Congress is. Rahul Gandhi is coming to Kerala for a picnic. While Communists and Congress are fighting in Kerala, they are close allies in West Bengal,” he said.
Shah also blamed the LDF government for delay in seeking the help of defence forces for rescue operations during the Okhi cyclone of 2017 and floods of 2018. “The Left govt calls our army very late, only for their own political mileage. Five hundred lives were lost. They do not care about the lives of the people of Kerala,” he said.
The election to the 140-member Kerala Assembly will take place in a single phase on April 6. The poll results will be announced on May 2.
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