No bias towards Pinarayi, Christians are fed up with LDF and UDF: Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he meets with Bishops from Kerala five or six times a year and the Christian community in the state is fed up with the lies of both the UDF and the LDF.
Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi Screengrab/Asianet News
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Narendra Modi denied allegations that he was biased in favour of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The Congress has raised this allegation during election campaigns in Kerala and said that central agencies were soft on Pinarayi in the gold smuggling case. In an interview to Malayalam TV channel Asianet News, which was telecast on April 20, the PM said that neither he nor his government interfered in the investigation of the gold smuggling case.

“The institutions are investigating independently. My government or I won't intervene in this. I have already spoken about the relationship of the chief minister’s office in this gold smuggling case. “Earlier, we didn't hear allegations of family rule or corruption against a communist party. But that has changed now. Today the Communist party in Kerala is worse than Bihar,” he alleged.

He also alleged that Kerala had the highest death rate in COVID, even though Kerala's COVID measures were popular. “It was widely spread that the measures taken by the Kerala government were far more effective in COVID prevention. But this is the state where the highest death rate occurred,” he said. As per the Indian government's COVID-19 state wise status, Maharashtra (148600) has the highest number of deaths compared to Kerala (72108), Maharashtra is however a bigger state compared to Kerala. Karnataka meanwhile also has almost 70,000 people were given COVID death compensation though the government had counted just around 45000 deaths officially. 

Modi also said Kerala’s argument that the central government is not providing financial allocation is wrong. “During the UPA government, Kerala was allocated Rs 460,000 crore, but this government gave Rs 1 lakh fifty thousand crore,” he added.

Responding to the question of why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) struggles to penetrate Kerala, he said, “In the 2011 Assembly election National Democratic Alliance (NDA) got only 6% vote share in the state. In the subsequent Assembly and Lok Sabha elections NDA was able to secure 15% vote.”

Speaking about the BJP’s efforts to reach out to the Christian community in Kerala, the PM said,  “BJP is a party that brings all people together. Our government came to power many times in Goa with the support of the Christian community. We came into power in North Eastern states similarly. In Kerala, we have workers and leaders from the booth level to higher levels. The Bishops meet me five or six times a year. The Christian community here is fed up with the lies of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF),” he said. 

The PM also addressed the controversy surrounding the publicity using his photo in PM Awas Yojana in Kerala. “The logo of PM Awas Yojana is important. It will be problematic during the audit if it is not established in the same name. The projects have been implemented in the name of the PM earlier too,” he justified. 

Earlier, Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the Union government for displaying Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana logo in front of the houses constructed under the state government's LIFE mission. Pinarayi also said, a house is a basic right and should not be used as an advertisement for the union government. 

Modi also spoke about the tussle between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Arif Mohammad Khan.  He said that the state government should respect Governors. “Even hostile countries provide security to diplomatic representatives. It is the duty of the state to respect the Governor who has a constitutional status”. Praising Arif Mohammad Khan he said, “he is a person who bears a lot.”  

Speaking about the Karivannur bank scam in Kerala, he said a mechanism will be established to reimburse those who lost the money. He also mentioned the potential of Kerala as a tourist destination and he will put effort to promote Kerala tourism.

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