Lok Sabha polls | Pinarayi Vijayan says both BJP and Congress are ‘anti-Kerala’

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says Kerala’s rejection of BJP has irked the party, leading to its consistent hostility towards the State

April 23, 2024 04:32 pm | Updated 04:42 pm IST - KANNUR

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (file)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (file) | Photo Credit: PTI

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has an “anti-Kerala” approach and the reason may be that “the State does not accept them.”

Speaking at the ‘Meet the Leader’ event organised by the Kannur Press Club on April 23, Mr. Vijayan said “the people of Kerala did not accept them (the BJP) yesterday, they will neither accept them today nor tomorrow. It does not matter if they are upset about it.”

He said Kerala’s rejection of the BJP has irked the party, leading to its consistent hostility towards the State.

He underlined Kerala’s “ethos of inclusivity, where caste and religious harmony prevail, making it inhospitable to ideologies of hate,” which the BJP allegedly espouses.

Mr. Vijayan pointed out the lack of acceptance for the BJP’s ideology in Kerala, highlighting the electorate’s repeated rejection of the party.

‘Congress too anti-Kerala’

He expressed disappointment with the Congress party, stating that even though they secured 18 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, its approach too appeared to be “anti-Kerala.”

He underlined the “growing discontent” among Kerala’s populace towards those who neglect the State’s interests and values, stressing the importance of representatives who prioritise Kerala’s well-being.

Mr. Vijayan criticised the performance of the 18 Congress members from Kerala, accusing them of “criminal negligence and complacency,” particularly in failing to address Kerala’s issues effectively in Parliament.

“In 2019, when the BJP government got its second term, Narendra Modi’s government tried to implement the extremist agenda of the RSS. At that stage, all the secular forces took a stance strongly opposing this, but the Congress was not seen actively in that group. Even outside Parliament, the voice of the Congress was not heard. The general consensus of Kerala is that our 18-member team has shown criminal negligence and complacency,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan highlighted the past five years as a period marked by “neglect and discrimination” by the Central government towards Kerala, condemning the Congress’s alleged failure to actively oppose the BJP’s “divisive agenda.”

Responding to questions regarding controversial remarks by Left Democratic Front (LDF) MLA P.V. Anvar about Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Vijayan asked the Congress leader to “choose his words wisely”, warning of “potential repercussions” otherwise.

Mr. Vijayan criticised Mr. Gandhi’s recent statements in Kerala, deeming them “unsuitable” for a political leader of his stature and urging him not to align with the BJP’s agenda.

“Rahul Gandhi will not be here when very serious issues come up. It is immature for someone like Rahul Gandhi to come to Kerala and help the BJP. Rahul is not a person who needs to repeat what the (Congress) leaders of Kerala say,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan also took aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of spearheading “a divisive election campaign” and criticised the Election Commission for purportedly failing to address communal campaigning.

He called for “accountability and impartiality” from the Election Commission and underscored the necessity of countering the BJP’s communal “polarisation tactics.”

Regarding Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s claims about alleged talks between some Congress leaders in Kerala and the BJP, Mr. Vijayan acknowledged the “possibility”, citing Mr. Sarma’s “insight into both parties’ affairs.”

He warned against dismissing Mr. Sarma’s claims, noting his “affiliations with both the BJP and Amit Shah.”

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