Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan takes a dig at Congress over absence of their and IUML flags during Rahul Gandhi’s roadshow in Wayanad

Congress needs votes of IUML but not its flag, says Pinarayi Vijayan

Updated - April 04, 2024 08:47 pm IST

Published - April 04, 2024 12:04 pm IST - KOCHI

A roadshow taken out by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi before submitting his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections at Kalpetta on Wednesday.

A roadshow taken out by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi before submitting his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections at Kalpetta on Wednesday.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on April 4 (Thursday) asked whether the Congress “feared” the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the flags of the party and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) were missing in the roadshow of incumbent MP Rahul Gandhi ahead of the filing of his nomination papers in Wayanad on April 3.

“Has the Congress declined to a position where it is even afraid of displaying its flag? Are they conceding to the demand of the Sangh Parivar that the Congress should relinquish their tri-coloured flag?” Mr. Vijayan asked at a press meet in Kochi as part of his election campaign in connection with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Vijayan asked whether the decision to drop the flag of the IUML was taken in view of the “Pakistan jibe” by the BJP while referring to the presence of the party’s green flags during Mr. Gandhi’s campaign in Wayanad as part of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

“Is this not Congress party’s cowardice for not displaying the IUML flag at the roadshow? The Congress needs the votes of the IUML, but not its flag,” he said.

The Chief Minister accused the Congress leaders of having forgotten the “illustrious history” of the freedom fighters and martyrs who had fought to hold the tri-colour high as it represented “the voice of the people.”

Responding to reports that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has plans to implicate more party [CPI(M)] leaders in the multi-crore Karuvannur cooperative bank scam, Mr. Vijayan said the party has “no secret account” in the bank as alleged by the agency.

“We do not require any secret account as the party has never received black money. The donations received by the party from the people are audited and duly submitted before the Income Tax department,” he said.

On Kejriwal’s arrest

Referring to the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by the ED, Mr. Vijayan accused the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of using the Central agency against the Opposition.

Mr. Vijayan also accused the Congress of “speaking against the ED when its leaders are under the agency’s scanner and supporting it when probe is launched against others.”

Mr. Vijayan also alleged that the support extended by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) to the United Democratic Front in the Lok Sabha elections was part of “a deal between the two parties.”

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