Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has lashed out at Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) Rajeev Chandrasekhar, over the latter's recent tweet accusing the Kerala government of discriminating against OBC Hindus in the state.
Calling Rajeev's tweet "idiotic," Thomas Isaac said that the former must refrain from making statements aimed at creating communal polarisation, which would belittle the dignity of the office he holds."
In a tweet on February 28, Rajeev Chandrasekhar shared a notice of a start-up loan for professionals given by the Kerala State Backward Classes Development Corporation and said:
Dear @CMOKerala @vijayanpinarayi - this is a good scheme like #Mudra but why do Hindu OBC professionals get lower loans (20lacs) versus Minorities (30lacs) ?— Rajeev Chandrasekhar (@rajeev_mp) February 28, 2018
Isnt this discrimination or appeasement? violative of Art (14) n respnsblty of Govt to be fair to all? pic.twitter.com/LEGlx95dns
Going by the tweet, several users accused the Left government in Kerala of trying to appease the minorities, while sidelining Hindu OBCs. Several pointed out that the fund for the scheme came from the central government's National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC). However, many users called out Rajeev Chandrasekhar, accusing him of misleading the people through his tweet.
On Thursday, Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac hit out at the MP, accusing him of trying to "create communal strife" by "hiding the facts and uttering absolute lies."
In a Facebook post, Thomas Isaac wrote that Rajeev must find out the amount that is given as loan to OBC Hindus by the NBCFDC.
"Guidelines are available online. The maximum amount they (OBC Hindus) can get is 10 lakhs. Check the National Commission for Minorities’ website. The central agency gives 20 lakhs as loan at an interest of 6% and 30 lakhs at 8% for minorities. State Governments are only nodal agencies to these Commissions. What is Kerala doing here? While backward Hindus get 10 lakhs as loan, religious minorities get 30 lakhs as loan. The difference is higher than what has been pointed out by Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Kerala added 10 lakhs and raised the loan for Hindu OBCs to 20 lakhs. It is only because the state has made additional allocation that Hindu OBCs in Kerala get 20 lakhs as loan. If the Central Government adds 10 lakhs, naturally, religious minorities and Hindu OBCs will get 30 lakhs."
FM Thomas Isaac then turned around the accusation and said that Rajeev Chandrasekhar must seek an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this issue.
"So, Rajeev Chandrasekhar should in fact challenge Narendra Modi to give an answer. Let him give awareness classes on article 14 of the Indian Constitution to Modi. Let the Centre increase 10 lakhs to the loan amount allotted for backward Hindus. Let everyone get equal loan," Thomas Isaac wrote.
Slamming Rajeev for his incorrect accusations, Thomas Isaac also said that being an MP, Rajeev's position accounts for a higher level of responsibility in "actions and words."
He also took at a dig at MP Rajeev, stating that although being a public servant makes it all the more important for leaders to make correct statements, "generally such things are not applicable to BJP leaders."
After Thomas Isaac's rebuttal to MP Rajeev's tweet, several users have now demanded that the latter take down the false accusation.