KONNI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Left government in Kerala for its action against Ayyappa devotees during Sabarimala protests, saying they tried to "destabilise" sacred places and that devotees were not criminals.
The Ayyappa devotees, who should have been welcomed with flowers, were lathi-charged, Modi said bringing up the Sabarimala women entry issue at an election rally at Konni in Pathnamthitta district, near the famous Lord Ayyappa shrine.
The state had witnessed violent protests after the LDF government decided to implement the 2018 Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to offer prayers at the shrine.
Rightwing outfits had staged protests against the government's decision to implement the verdict.
Continuing his attack on the Left, Modi said: "But what has the LDF done? First they tried to distort the picture and image of Kerala and tried to show the Kerala culture as backward.
Then they tried to destabilise sacred places by using their agents who carried out mischief." The devotees of Swami Ayyappa, who should have been welcomed with flowers, were welcomed with lathis, he said.
"I want to state clearly that the innocent devotees of Swami Ayyappa are not criminals," the prime minister, who is on his second leg of campaign tour in the southern state, said.
Modi said Communism had done everything to portray Indian culture in bad light and it will no longer be allowed to trample over the country's culture.
"For decades, the Left cabalhad done everything to portray Indian culture in poor light. Their lies would not go on anymore. An imported and internationally rejected ideology will no longer be allowed to trample over the culture of our land."
"This is why Babasaheb Ambedkar questioned if Communism and free democracy can ever co-exist? He said that communism is like a forest fire that will burn and consume everything," he said, adding the BJP karyakartas will stand in the way of any effort to trample over the Indian culture.
Referring to the action of the LDF government against a section of devotees who protested the government decision to implement the apex court verdict in Sabarimala, Modi said the government was showing its wrath towards people.
"I fail to understand, which government will shower lathis on innocent devotees? Which government will repeatedly attack its own citizens?" he asked.
Modi said NDA proposes a forward looking development agenda that puts Kerala on the fast route to progress.
"My vision for FAST includes F for fisheries and fertilisers, A for agriculture and Ayurveda, S for skill development and social empowerment and T for tourism and technology.
We will ensure that each of these sectors develop," he said.
Besides the highway works in Kerala as part of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor, many economic corridors have been announced and the centre has provided for developing 1,100 km of national highway network in the state.
On the tourism front, he said the left government lacked vision, but the NDA would focus on the different aspects of tourism including health, spiritual, cruise and eco tourism.
With Keralites observing Good Friday,Modi today used a Christian reference and lambasted the ruling LDF and Opposition UDF, saying they have committed 'seven deadly sins' including arrogance, greed, envy, lust for power.
"You all have heard of the seven deadly sins. UDF and LDF have committed their own seven deadly sins in Kerala," Modi said, attacking the two fronts in Kerala who have been ruling the state alternatively over the years.
"The first sin is pride and arrogance. UDF and LDF feel that they can never be defeated.
This has made their leaders very arrogant and disconnected from their roots, while the second sin is their greed for money," he said, referring to the gold, dollar and solar cases, which has tainted the two fronts.
The gold smuggling case is about the seizure of 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.
82 crore from a diplomatic baggage at the Thiruvananthapuram airport in July last year and the dollar case pertains to alleged smuggling of USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.3 crore by a former finance head of UAE consulate).
The Solar panel scandal, which hit the previous UDF government of Oommen Chandy, relates to a couple cheating people of crores of rupees by promising to instal solar panels and offering franchise and jobs.
Modi claimed the two fronts are envious, jealous and want to outdo each other in committing wrongs.
"They suffer from competitive corruption.
They are jealous if the other alliance makes a paisa more than the other," the prime minister said at the rally at the stadium which was overflowing with people.
The lust for power has made the two fronts to enter into alliances with communal, criminal and repressive elements of society, he alleged.
"What was the stand of the Indian Union Muslim League on Triple Talaq? What are the social policies of Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political arm Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).
Can their regressive politics be supported? No," he said.
The two fronts were promoting dynasty politics and everything else is a side issue, Modi said.
"We have also seen how children of big leaders are behaving. The case of the son of the top LDF leader is well-known. I do not need to elaborate more on it because his antics are common knowledge," he said in an apparent reference to CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son who is behind bars in connection with a case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.