Amit Shah takes break from BJP Kerala yatra, to return for concluding session | india news | Hindustan Times
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Amit Shah takes break from BJP Kerala yatra, to return for concluding session

As part of the Janraksha Yatra, Shah was supposed to lead party workers into Pinarayi, the home village of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan but the BJP announced that he cancelled the trip due to compelling reasons.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2017 22:56 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Janraksha yatra,Kerala BJP,Amit Shah
BJP national president Amit Shah at the launch of the party's Janraksha Yatra at Payyannur in Kannur on Tuesday. (PTI)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah skipped a scheduled event in Kerala on Thursday after the BJP announced that he was not making an appearance due to compelling reasons.

During the Janraksha Yatra, Shah was supposed to lead party workers into Pinarayi, the home village of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as part of a high-profile two-week campaign in the state. But party state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said Shah will attend the concluding session of the yatra on October 17 in the state capital..

“The prime minister has asked him to stay in Delhi for some important consultations. He will join the yatra once his busy schedule is over,” he said.

Shah had launched the yatra on Tuesday in Kannur, a district with a history of bloody political violence that has claimed the lives of scores of BJP, RSS and Left Front workers.

The CPI (M), however, said that Shah’s decision was triggered by a poor response from the crowd. “Poor response forced the party president to call it a day. It shows people have rejected the much-publicised exercise of the saffron party,” said CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The Congress suggested that intense infighting in the state unit might have been a factor in Shah’s return to Delhi.

“Shah’s decision to pull out clearly shows the party has run out of steam. Secular credential of the state is very strong and he can’t fan trouble here like some north Indian states,” said Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala.

But the BJP dismissed these charges. “Our political opponents are spreading canards. People who witnessed the last two days’ developments won’t say this,” Rajasekharan said, adding that he was informed about the change of schedule only in the morning.

The yatra passed peacefully through Pinarayi, where CPI(M) workers had put up large hoardings and banners throughout the village carrying pictures of the victims killed allegedly by RSS-BJP workers.

The BJP is aiming to use the rally to attack the state government on the issue of killings of its party workers and build momentum in a state where it has never been close to power. On Wednesday, the party had roped in Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who led the march and accused the Kerala government of shielding “jihadi forces” in the state.