PM Modi’s Somalia remark: Upset Kerala to approach EC

  • HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Updated: May 12, 2016 19:06 IST
Prime minister Narendra Modi address during an Assembly elections meeting at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. (PTI Photo)

Upset with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark comparing Kerala with east African country Somalia the state government is planning to petition the Chief Election Commission and explore legal recourse. 

“The PM has insulted Kerala and millions of Malayalees. We thought he would withdraw his remark while addressing a rally near Kochi on Wednesday. His silence has shocked people of Kerala,” said Chief Minister Ooomen Chandy in Kochi adding the state would explore legal action against what he called “irresponsible and outrageous remark”. 

The PM while addressing a rally in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday had compared the state with Somalia citing a photo appeared in a leading Malayalam daily in which two tribal boys of north Kerala were seen rummaging for food in a garbage yard. He drew the comparison when referring to “poor living condition” of tribal children in Kerala. 

“During election several PMs had visited the state for campaigning. But we never had such an experience. We thought he would admit his slip and withdraw the remark. In failing to do so he heaped enough insult on the state,” the CM said adding while the Kerala stood first in human development index Gujarat was in 12th position. Earlier the CM had shot off a letter to the PM deploring his remark. Got a good opportunity to corner the BJP both CPI(M) and Congress are in a race to exploit it. 

His reference has also triggered a big protest in social media_ he was trolled badly and some responded with hashtag #PoMoneModi (Go Off Modi). Similarly the PM had questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s ‘Italian connections’ while referring to AgustaWestland copper deal inviting sharp criticism from the Congress. 

However the BJP has defended his speech. “If the PM cites ground reality how can it be an insult to the state? The CM is shedding tears eying some votes. But people of the state will realize his design well,” said BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan.

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