Pinarayi criticises Centre after Rajya Sabha elections put on hold, hits back at Shah

He also criticised Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. Chennithala's statement that he would not say no to BJP votes confirms the UDF's deal with the BJP, said Pinarayi.

Published: 25th March 2021 01:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th March 2021 01:38 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

By Express News Service

KOLLAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has strongly criticized the Election Commission's decision to put the elections to three Rajya Sabha seats on hold. Pinarayi alleged that the RS election was postponed at the behest of the Centre. The ruling party at the Centre should state the motive behind this move, he said. The CM also asked the Election Commission to explain why it had permitted the Centre's move.

The Chief Minister was speaking at a press conference here, organised as part of his day-long election campaign in Kollam district on Thursday. Pinarayi also took on Union Home Minister Amit Shah, countering the allegations made by the latter on Wednesday.

Responding to questions posed by Shah, Pinarayi said the Union minister should first explain why central agencies haven't got any evidence against the state government in the gold scam, even after an intense investigation.

ALSO READ: Amit Shah slams Pinarayi govt, says Sabarimala issue will have an impact on Kerala polls

CM criticises Chennithala

He also criticised Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala. He accused the Opposition of attempting to deprive the people of free food kits. Attempts are being made to cut off free food kits and welfare pensions, he said. Chennithala's statement that he would not say no to BJP votes confirms the UDF's deal with the BJP, said Pinarayi.

Responding to allegations regarding distribution of Vishu kits in April, the Chief Minister reiterated that kit distribution in the state did not start with the commencement of election. The LDF does not need the support of any communal force to win the election, he added.

The Citizenship Amendment Act has had a central impact on the country's secularism. Religion should not be the basis for citizenship, this is the foundation of secularism. If it is shaken, secularism and democracy will collapse, he said. That is why the LDF government in Kerala has been strongly opposing the Act, he said, adding that Kerala subsequently approached the Supreme Court against the amendment. Pinarayi emphasised that the BJP should understand that the LDF will stand on its word before and after the elections.

The UDF is contemplating how to eliminate the LDF influence in the coastal areas. But experience has shown that popular support for the LDF is growing. A comprehensive package of Rs 5000 crore has been implemented for coastal development. The CM’s office is being dragged into everything including the gold smuggling case and EMCC deal. The CM said that he is not commenting much on this as it will affect the investigation.

CM alleges conspiracy behind EMCC deal

The Chief Minister alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the EMCC deal. "The truth about who is behind this conspiracy will come out after detailed investigation. There is nothing wrong with a higher official contacting the Chief Minister's office. Only the documents of a 'great' person contacting the Additional Private Secretary have come out until now," said the CM apparently referring to N Prasanth, managing director of Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation.

No clash with NSS

Pinarayi said there's no clash between the LDF and NSS, but attempts are being made to give such an impression. Pinarayi said his remark about the NSS the other day was interpreted by some media outlets as being tough on it. "As per the NSS demand, the government had looked into the possibility of declaring Mannam Jayanthi as a public holiday. But later some legal impediments came up and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rejected the request for a Restricted Holiday," said the CM.



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