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Congress and Communists, foes in Kerala, BFFs elsewhere: PM Modi

People of Kerala will answer this betrayal in the coming LS polls

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Feb 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a swipe at the Congress and Communist parties, which are making efforts to form a strong alternative against the BJP at the Centre, pointing out that they are each other’s enemies in Kerala, but in other states they are BFFs—Best Friends Forever.

Speaking at the conclusion ceremony of the BJP state unit’s padayatra at the Central Stadium here, Modi pilloried the opposition claiming it lacks a roadmap for the nation’s progress and is therefore convinced it won’t win the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, due to which its leaders resort to abusing him.

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“The Congress and the Communists are each other’s enemies in Kerala, but in other states, they are BFFs. BFFs means best friends forever,” the PM said.

He said the Congress accused the Communist Chief Minister (Pinarayi Vijayan) of being involved in corruption and scams and termed the Left government as fascist.

“The Communists in response, lathi-charged the Congress workers and termed their previous administrations as being involved in various scams. However, outside Kerala, at the INDI alliance meetings, they sit together, eat samosas and biscuits, and have tea,” the PM said, pointing out the incongruity.

“So in Thiruvananthapuram they say one thing and in Delhi they say something else. The people of Kerala will answer this betrayal in the coming LS polls.”

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Attacking the Congress, Modi, in an apparent reference to the Gandhi family, said the track record of the grand old party shows how it managed to keep the country under the control of one family for decades.

“For them (Congress) the interests of that family are above that of all the other families in the country,” he alleged, adding that the Communists were now showing the same colours.

In a veiled reference to Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad seat in Lok Sabha, Modi also said that the Communists were advising the Congress to keep its ‘Yuvraj’ (prince) out of Kerala.

During his speech at the party programme, Modi urged Kerala’s people to bless the saffron party with seats in double digits in the 2024 LS polls.

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Insisting that the BJP never sees a state from the perspective of a vote bank, Modi claimed that over the past 10 years, Kerala has benefited from development like other BJP-ruled states.

He said it was his guarantee to make all possible efforts to help the people of Kerala realise their dreams and expectations.

The PM said it was ‘Modiyude guarantee’ (Modi’s guarantee) to make India the third-largest economy in the world as well as eradicate poverty and corruption from the country.

Apparently responding to Kerala’s CPI(M)-led Left government’s allegations that the state was discriminated against by the Centre, Modi said the BJP has never seen any Indian state from the perspective of a vote bank.

“Even when the BJP was not strong in Kerala, even then we worked day in and day out to empower Kerala. Over the past 10 years, the benefits of development have been reaped by Kerala as much as by the BJP-ruled states,” the Prime Minister said.

He said despite the “constant non-cooperation by the state government, Kerala has still remained our priority.”

Recounting the steps taken by the Centre for the development of Kerala, Modi said the BJP government connected the world with India’s traditional knowledge of Ayurveda. Forty thousand farmers of Kerala have received direct financial assistance through the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, and over 50 lakh MUDRA loans have been disbursed in the state to help young entrepreneurs.

He also said works are being done for new-generation infrastructure projects in Kerala.

“The people of Kerala have a new enthusiasm. The ‘hope’ that emerged in the hearts of the people of Kerala in 2019 has now become their ‘faith’ in 2024. In 2019, the BJP-led NDA received votes in double digits in Kerala. It seems like in 2024, Kerala has decided to give ‘seats’ in double digits,” Modi said.

He said what is going to happen a few months later is not a secret anymore.

“In 2019, the talk of the town was ‘Fir Ek Baar, Modi Sarkaar’; In 2024, the talk of the town was ‘Abki Baar, 400 Paar’.

He said everyone is talking about the third term of the Modi government.

“In our third term, India is set to become the world’s third-largest economy. This is Modi Ki Guarantee. In our third term, our fight against corruption is going to be more defined,” he said.

Alleging that the LDF and the UDF rule did not do anything for the education system in Kerala, Modi said everyone knows about the struggle faced by the students of the poor and the middle class of the state while pursuing higher education.

“Our third term will work on the development of educational institutions in Kerala. This will pave the way for opportunities for students hailing from poor and middle-class families,” he said.

“We live by one mantra—’Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’. For us, every community, caste, and region is important. We have worked for the progress of every citizen. In our third term too, we will work with the same intentions,” he added. (PTI)

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