Give us a chance, Amit Shah tells Kerala voters

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 08, 2021

Home Minister Amit Shah with K Surendran, Kummanamj Rajasekharan and Metroman E Sreedharan at BJP state unit's Vijaya Yatra in Thiruvananthapuram on March 7, 2021.   -  The Hindu

Welcomes Metroman Sreedharan into BJP and says his enthusiasm is infectious.

Home Minister Amit Shah has called upon voters in Kerala to ‘act wise’ and break its self-inflicted jinx over the past several decades of having to choose from the corrupt and opportunistic coalitions led by the CPI(M) and the Congress by turns, and ‘give a chance and five years’ to the BJP and the NDA.

Addressing a large crowd in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday evening at the culmination of the Vijaya Yatra led by party state President K Surendran, the Home Minister, sounded the bugle for the party’s campaign for the Assembly elections in the state with a new tagline ‘Modern Kerala, stands with Modi.’

Introduce Metroman to party

Shah paraded to the crowd Metroman E Sreedharan, the ‘spectacular trophy’ it has claimed through the course of the Yatra flagged off by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath earlier on February 21. Shah alluded to Sreedharan as a nation builder who has chosen to offer his services now to the party.

The party will be the richer for it, the Home Minister said, paying glowing tributes to the 88-year-old engineer-turned-technocrat. “At 56, I would have myself entertained thoughts of retiring but not Sreedharan Ji, who wants to dedicate himself to the services of the state and the nation. His enthusiasm is infectious,” Shah said.

In his short but hesitant speech, Sreedharan said age does not bar him from entering the hustle and bustle of politics and he thinks he has what it takes to swim with the tide. He is prepared to take up ‘any responsibility given to him by the party’ after nearly 67 years of government service.

Strong, mentally and physically

Many people have asked him why he was taking the plunge into politics at this age. “I have only one answer. During the period I was in government, I was able to complete several projects for the country. I feel that I am still strong physically and mentally and can do something for Kerala.”

Meanwhile, the Home Minister blasted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s charge that the BJP government was employing the Central agencies to browbeat non-BJP governments in states. Shah chose the platform in Thiruvananthapuram to fling ‘some politically well-directed’ questions at Vijayan.

Latching on to the recent controversies that have put the ruling CPI(M)-led government on the defensive, Shah asked the Chief Minister if the main accused in the foreign currency and gold smuggling cases had been operating from his office or not, and whether she was paid a monthly salary of ₹3 lakh.

Featuring in foreign jaunts

The Chief Minister must also clarify whether his former principal secretary had offered the accused a top job based on fake certificates. Did the accused female accompany him and his principal secretary on foreign trips and also used to frequent the official residence of the Chief Minister or not?

The Union Home Minister wanted to clarify whether or not the Chief Minister’s office had exerted undue pressure on Customs officials after they seized the smuggled gold at the airport. Was a proper investigation conducted into a ‘suspicious death’ reported during the inquiry?

Vote bank politics

Shah charged both the alternating fronts in the state that have shared power till now had been concerned more about vote bank politics in Kerala than the welfare of the people at large. Both have been engaged in a “healthy competition” over scams involving corruption and nepotism at high places

BJP State president K Surendran presided over the meeting. Also present were Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan, among others. Amit Shah later attended a meeting of the Core Committee of the State BJP unit.

Published on March 08, 2021

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