Weak Congress and Left governments had turned the tourism hub of Kerala into a “nursery of terror”, BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi said Tuesday, as campaigning drew to a close in the state that votes on April 10.
"Kerala had the potential to become a tourism hub but has been converted into a nursery of terror," Modi said during a rally in Kasarkkode.
The northern Kerala constituency is one of the two seats -– Thiruvananthapuram is the other -- where the BJP, a fringe player in Kerala, is expected to do well. Kerala sends 20 members to the Lok Sabha.
Modi once again targeted AK Antony, saying he was the weakest defence minister the country’s ever had. Antony, a former Kerala CM, is a member of the Rajya Sabha and is known to be close to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
"When our soldiers were beheaded by Pakistan army, our minister said in Parliament that terrorists in Pakistani army uniform had killed our jawans," he said. Antony's irresponsible statement was hailed by the media in the neighbouring country, Modi said. Early last year, two Indian soldiers were killed, one of them beheaded, in a brazen cross-border raid in Jammu and Kashmir.
Quoting an unnamed IAF official, Modi said almost 90% of air defence vehicles were either outdated or old, questioning Antony’s claim of acquiring latest weapons.
Hitting out at the Congress-led United Democratic Front as well as the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, the BJP leader said both the sides were engaged in a "friendly match”.