Pinarayi terms Shah a personification of communalism

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday termed Union Home Minister Amit Shah a personification of communalism.

At a Left Democratic Front (LDF) campaign meeting in the Dharmadam constituency, Mr. Vijayan countered Mr. Shah’s speech at at Shanghumughom in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

Mr. Vijayan said Mr. Shah had insulted Kerala. Stating that the State was the least corrupt in the country, Mr Vijayan said Mr. Shah had chosen to portray it as a hive of graft.

Congress-BJP nexus

The Congress was yet to respond to Mr. Shah’s insinuations. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had castigated Central agencies for not doing enough to tarnish the LDF government. His words had spotlighted the Congress-BJP political nexus in Kerala.

Mr. Pinarayi said Mr. Shah’s words did not suit his stature as the Union Home Minister. He had belittled his high office by his communally divisive politics. “Mr. Shah’s voice assumed a strident tone when he mentioned Muslim,” he said.

Quoting a book on the Gujarat riots, Mr. Vijayan said the writer had found Mr. Shah dismissive of the threat of violence and pogrom faced by Muslims in the aftermath of the Godhra incident. Mr. Shah’s speech was pregnant with communal overtones. Such a narrative would serve only to stoke resentment and divide society. Mr. Vijayan listed the “fake encounter killings” in Gujarat under Mr. Shah’s watch as the then Home Minister of the State. He said Mr. Shah had faced criminal charges in at least one extra-judicial killing case.

Gold smuggling

Mr. Shah should answer how the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport had become a conduit for contraband gold after the BJP assumed power at the Centre. The multiple investigations by Central agencies into the gold smuggling case had reached a dead-end. The main conspirators in Dubai were still at large. Gold smuggling via the diplomatic channel had occurred under the watch of the Central government. Border enforcement was a Centre subject.

Mr. Vijayan said the LDF’s popularity had unnerved the Congress-BJP axis. The clique had exploited central agencies to lay down a smokescreen of lies by attempting to falsely implicate the political executive in the smuggling case.

The BJP panicked when it saw the gold probe coming close to some of its apparatchiks. It transferred a Joint Commissioner of Customs who denied the BJP’s allegation that the Chief Minister’s Office had intervened with the Customs on behalf of the gold smugglers.

The Central agencies had acted like the cat’s paw of the BJP-Congress axis in Kerala. They had sacrificed their objectivity at the altar of electoral politics.

Constituency tour

LDF workers received Mr. Vijayan with much fanfare at the Kannur airport. His function at Dharmadom was the commencement of an 18-day tour of his constituency. He is scheduled to attend over 46 functions in Dharmadom, including neighbourhood-level meetings.

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