Home minister Amit Shah addresses a public meeting in Kerala on Wednesday. (ANI)
Home minister Amit Shah addresses a public meeting in Kerala on Wednesday. (ANI)

Kerala CM can’t wash his hands off in smuggling case: Amit Shah

Addressing a poll rally in Kochi, Shah said that those involved in harassing nuns from Kerala on a train in Jhansi will be brought to justice
UPDATED ON MAR 24, 2021 05:31 PM IST

Home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said that strict action will be taken against those who attacked Christian nuns on a train in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi, a few days ago, while accusing the state’s Left Democratic Front government of having close links with the prime accused in the gold smuggling case.

Addressing a poll rally in Kochi, Shah said, “Those involved in the Jhansi nuns harassment incident will be brought before the law. I want to assure the people of Kerala that the culprits behind this incident will be brought to justice at the earliest.”

Kerala goes to polls on April 6.

In a statement, the church media commission had said that some nuns and girls from Kersala were on their way to Odisha on March 19 for Easter celebrations when they were attacked by Bajrang Dal activists when the train reached Jhansi. They claimed that the activists verbally abused and attempted to attack the nuns, alleging that the nuns were taking the girls to Odisha for conversion.

Shah also criticised chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s repeated charge that the Union government was using Central agencies to weaken his government. Shah said that an international agency such as United Nations can’t probe a scam committed in the country and it was the duty of Central agencies to do so.

He asked the CM who appointed the main accused to key posts and why his principal secretary was arrested and later sacked. “Who appointed the principal secretary who was arrested in money laundering and smuggling cases? Why was he sacked later? The CM can’t wash his hands off like this.Did the secretary and CM travelled abroad with main accused or not?” he said, adding that while the LDF was beset with the smuggling scandal the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) was simultaneously struggling with the solar scandal.

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“Why did the accused woman (Swapna Suresh) come to the CM’s residence regularly? Who appointed her to a key post with a salary of 3 lakh? Did the accused make foreign trips using state funds with the permission of the state government?” he said.

Last week, the state government had booked the officials of the Enforcement Directorate, alleging they were trying to implicate the CM in the god smuggling case.

Addressing a roadshow in temple town Tripunithura on the outskirts of Kochi, Shah said the Sabarimala issue will have an impact on the poll and the believers won’t forgive the state government’s high-handedness during the Sabarimala agitation three years ago.

“It is not easy for believers to forget the way the government trampled their customs and jailed thousands of them. The government is answerable to the faithful for its various criminal acts at the holy shrine,” he said. Shah reached Kerala late on Tuesday, and addressed several meetings in Kochi, Kollam and Palakkad districts.

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He said the hype regarding a second consecutive term for the left front government was the creation of the media. He said this time the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance will pose a stiff challenge to both players (LDF and UDF) and emerge a decisive force.

He said both UDF and LDF governments made the state a hub of corruption and now people were looking at the BJP as an alternative. “An eminent person like E Sreedharan is leading the poll battle in Kerala and it will bring rich dividends to the party this time,” he said.

Talking about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s frequent trips to the state, he said these were picnic trips for him. “In Kerala, he talks against the Left, but in West Bengal both are thick friends and fighting elections together. Congress has no qualms in aligning with the Muslim League in Kerala and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra,” he said.

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