Thiruvananthapuram: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks comparing Kerala to Somalia triggered a controversy, top Congress and BJP leaders sparred over the controversial analogy on Thursday.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Prime Minister’s statement was not in good taste. The BJP sought an apology from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for spreading “false propaganda” against PM Modi.
“We are not against the people of Somalia. He has compared (the situation in) Kerala to negative things of Somalia,” Mr Azad said at an election rally in Thiruvananthapuram district. “In his (PM Modi’s) sub-conscious mind, there is hate… why people of Kerala are not voting for him. That is why he is abusing the people.”
Hitting out at Mr Chandy, Union minister Ananth Kumar said he was trying to divert attention from development issues and was ‘spreading lies’.
The chief minister was indulging in “false propaganda to cover up his administrative failure and corruption,” he told reporters. “It is not the duty of Prime Minister to reply to his lies.”
The minister said during Mr Chandy’s tenure, corruption cases like solar scam and the bar scam had erupted and a Dalit woman was brutally raped and murdered. The government could not take steps to bring the guilty to book so far, he said.
Regarding the political situation in the state, he claimed the chief minister was indulging in “adjustment politics” while shaking hands with CPM leader Pinarayi Vijayan. “In West Bengal, they celebrate honeymoon, while in Kerala they having secret relations.”
Joining the issue, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Congress and Left are afraid of PM Modi’s appeal in Kerala and are running a social media campaign to mislead the people.
BJP state unit chief president Kummanam Rajasekharan also hit back at Mr Chandy, saying he should apologise for making “baseless comments” against the Prime Minister.