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Lok Sabha elections 2019| ‘India or Pakistan’: Shah’s comment on Wayanad trigger a row in Kerala

LDF Wayanad constituency convener CK Sasindran has submitted a complaint to the state chief electoral officer and the Chief Election Commissioner seeking action against Shah.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 11, 2019 16:06 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Thiruvananthapuram
The BJP has been targeting the Congress president since he filed his nomination papers from Wayanad, the second seat where he is contesting from.
The BJP has been targeting the Congress president since he filed his nomination papers from Wayanad, the second seat where he is contesting from.(PTI File)
         

BJP president Amit Shah’s statement that one can’t make out “whether Wayanad is in India or in Pakistan” has triggered a big controversy in Kerala and ruling Left Democratic Front on Thursday approached the Election Commission to take action against him for creating communal division.

Addressing a rally in Nagpur on Wednesday Shah had chided Congress president Rahul Gandhi for selecting his second seat in north Kerala saying “when a procession is taken out there, it is difficult to make out whether it is India or Pakistan.” He was obviously referring to the Muslims League’s green flags during Rahul Gandhi’s road show in Wayanad last week.

“He insulted people of Kerala and Wayanad. Wayanad has a glorious past. Its erstwhile king Pazhassi Raja was the first to take on British in south India and got martyred. It is better for Shah to browse through the history of the district before mouthing strange things,” said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slamming his speech. He said a person who always spew venom nothing much was expected.

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BJP president Amit Shah’s statement that one can’t make out “whether Wayanad is in India or in Pakistan” has triggered a big controversy in Kerala. The ruling Left Democratic Front on Thursday approached the Election Commission to take action against him for creating communal division.

Addressing a rally in Nagpur on Wednesday, Shah had chided Congress president Rahul Gandhi for selecting his second seat in north Kerala saying, “When a procession is taken out there, it is difficult to make out whether it is India or Pakistan.” He was obviously referring to the Muslim League’s green flags during Rahul Gandhi’s road show in Wayanad last week.

“He insulted the people of Kerala and Wayanad. Wayanad has a glorious past. Its erstwhile king Pazhassi Raja was the first to take on the British in south India and was martyred. It is better for Shah to browse through the history of the district before mouthing strange things,” said Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan slamming Shah’s speech. He said nothing much can be expected from “a person who always spews venom”.

LDF Wayanad constituency convener CK Sasindran has submitted a complaint to the state chief electoral officer and the Chief Election Commissioner seeking action against Shah. “He has divided people on communal lines and has tried to create animosity between different religions. It is part of a hate campaign and against model code of conduct,” the petition pointed out.

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The Congress has also criticised his statement. “Even a king cobra doesn’t have as much venom as Shah. He is diverting the real issues by raising a venomous propaganda,” said AICC general secretary KC Venugopal. The Muslim League has also criticised him saying it doesn’t need a certificate from a person like Shah.

The BJP has been targeting the Congress president since he filed his nomination papers from Wayanad, the second seat where he is contesting from, saying “he fled to a minority constituency fearing the wrath of the majority community”. While addressing the rally Shah in Nagpur had said: “Rahul is contesting from a seat where, when a procession is taken out, it is difficult to make out whether it is India or Pakistan.”

The Indian Union Muslim League is the second largest partner of the UDF after Congress and it wields enough influence in most of the north Kerala constituencies including Wayanad. At least three assembly constituencies of Wayanad fall under the Muslim-majority Malappuram district.

This is not the first time the BJP has attacked Rahul citing green flags. Soon after the road show, many leaders, mistaking the Muslim League’s flags, took to social media and claimed that enough “Pakistani flags” were seen in the road-show. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also said recently that “the Muslim league is a virus that infected the Congress”. Political observers said the BJP was targeting the Muslim League eyeing a majority consolidation in north India.

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First Published: Apr 11, 2019 15:53 IST

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