Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday lashed out at the Congress and BJP, saying those who tried to sabotage the state’s survival and growth in the last five years were now delivering speeches on development, which amounted to ”mocking” the people.
Speaking at a press meet, he alleged that the national leaders of the Congress and BJP, including the Prime Minister, were attempting to create a distorted image of Kerala.
His remarks came a day after PM Modi said at a poll rally in Thiruvananthapuram that there was a “total hartal on governance” in Kerala.
“Any move by the RSS for a communal divide has not been successful in Kerala, which is a stronghold of secularism. Those who tried to sabotage the survival and growth of the state in the last five years are now delivering speeches on development. This amounts to mocking the people of Kerala,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that just because the state was not ”surrendering to the communal agenda of the Sangh Parivar,” they were trying to teach a lesson to Kerala and punish them.
Mr Vijayan said everyone in the state was aware of the ”bhai-bhai relationship of the Congress and BJP and also the developmental activities carried out by the LDF government.
“Modi compared Kerala to Somalia in the previous Assembly elections. The Sangh Parivar is interested only in portraying Kerala in such a bad light.”
The Chief Minister said Kerala faced the worst floods in a century and the central forces arrived in the state to help them.
However, the Centre later sent the state a bill for the help rendered.
“Meanwhile, our own army… the fishermen, were engaged in selfless service and didn’t take a single penny we offered,” he said.
PM Modi had said during a rally in the run up to the polls in 2016 that the “infant mortality rate among the scheduled tribe community in Kerala is worse than Somalia”.
Somalia still has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition and infant mortality in the world, while Kerala has the lowest infant mortality rates in India.
Scheduled Tribes are among India’s most underprivileged citizens.
Mr Vijayan said the BJP is a party which is unsure whether it would get a single seat in the coming elections and may not be even able to maintain their previous vote share.
“How many state governments were handed over to the BJP on a silver platter by the Congress party? Congress should not think that they can give Kerala to the BJP. People will give a befitting reply in the election,” he said.
Mr Vijayan was at his home district Kannur, where he was campaigning for the Left Front candidates for the April 6 Assembly polls.
The results will be out on May 2.