PM Modi launches fiery attack on ruling and Opposition fronts in Kerala

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi being felicitated at a public meeting at Alathur, Kerala, on April 15, 2024.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 15 sought to capitalise on the momentum from his back-to-back campaign forays into Kerala since January by delivering a series of fiery attacks against the ruling and the Opposition fronts in the State.

At a BJP rally at Kattakada in the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Modi accused the Left Democratic Front (LDF) of running Kerala to financial ruin and then blaming the Centre for its “self-inflicted bankruptcy.”

Mr. Modi said the LDF also falsely claimed credit for Central schemes and got rapped by the Supreme Court for poor tax administration and fiscal management.

Mr. Modi said “the LDF-UDF revolving door politics” would spell doom for Kerala. He cast the CPI(M) and the Congress as hives of nepotism and corruption. Both parties were allies shadowboxing as foes in Kerala. Their leaders lacked honesty and credibility, he said.

Mr. Modi spotlighted the financial fraud investigations against the “Chief Minister and his daughter” without naming them and “corruption” in CPI(M)-controlled cooperative banks.

Mr. Modi promised to return the money CPI(M)-controlled cooperative banks had “stolen” from ordinary depositors, most of whom were daily wage labourers, women, farmers, and non-resident Indians, by quickly monetising the confiscated assets of the wrongdoers.

He reiterated that CPI(M) apparatchiks used party-controlled cooperative banks to “cover the laundering of unaccounted money and hoarding of ill-gotten wealth.”

“The CPI(M) district secretary in Thrissur has properties worth ₹100 crore,” he alleged.

Mr. Modi promised “legal retribution” against corrupt entities, irrespective of their rank or social or political stature, and hinted that the detections, so far, were the tip of the iceberg.

Mr. Modi also accused the Kerala government of giving administrative cover to gold smugglers and allowing the drug mafia free rein to peddle drugs in the State. Notably, he named Varkala and Nedumangad as “narcotics trade hubs which imperilled Kerala youths.”

Mr. Modi sought to showcase his anti-corruption drive as his government’s hallmark. He said the Congress and the CPI(M) had cobbled together the INDIA bloc to “punish Modi for 10 years of honest, corruption-free, pro-poor and transparent governance.”

Promises to Kerala’s electorate

Mr. Modi also offered a cornucopia of promises to Kerala’s electorate. These included bullet train connectivity, a boost for homestays and eco-tourism, coastal protection, fisheries production and processing clusters, and modern housing and gear for fishermen.

Mr. Modi invoked the legacy of social reformers Ayyankali, Chattampi Swamikal and Sree Narayana Guru. Notably, he dodged contentious parts of the BJP’s manifesto commitments, including drafting a Uniform Civil Code (UCC).

Mr. Modi, who often addressed the crowd in the third person, emphasised the second NDA government’s economic, scientific, and infrastructure achievements. He also highlighted the BJP’s manifesto commitments, including free treatment for citizens above 70, empowering women’s self-help groups, and enhancing financial assistance to farmers.

BJP Kerala State president K. Surendran, Union Ministers V. Muraleedharan and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, BJP’s candidate from Kollam LS constituency G. Krishna Kumar, and actor Sobhana were among those present.

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