Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday lashed out at the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that 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 in Kannur, he alleged that the national leaders of the Congress and the BJP, including the Prime Minister, were attempting to create a distorted image of Kerala.
His remarks came a day after PM Narendra Modi said at a poll rally in Thiruvanthapuram that there was a "total hartal on governance" in Kerala.
"Any move by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (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," CM Pinarayi said.
The incumbent 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.”
Pinarayi Vijayan said that everyone in the state was aware of the 'bhai- bhai relationship of the Congress and the BJP and also the developmental activities carried out by the Left Democratic Front (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."
PM Modi had said during a rally in the run up to the Assembly 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.
CM Pinarayi also spoke of the time the central forces arriving in Kerala to help during the floods and later the Union government sending a bill for it.
"Meanwhile, our own army… the fishermen, were engaged in selfless service and didn't take a single penny we offered," CM Pinarayi said.
He added that 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. He also attacked the Congress for the BJP’s victory in other states.
"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 saffron party. People will give a befitting reply in the election," he said.
Pinarayi Vijayan was at his home district Kannur, where he was campaigning for the LDF candidates for the April 6 Assembly polls. The results will be out on May 2.