Prime Minister Narendra Modi, campaigning in Palakkad, Kerala, on Tuesday for ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan, criticised the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), and urged voters to give the BJP a chance.
The saffron party is hoping to loosen the stranglehold of LDF and UDF in Kerala, which has voted alternately for the two alliances for decades, and improve its tally (1) in the assembly. The party has entered the fray as a third front.
Modi said the LDF and UDF were “different only in name” and called their “match-fixing” the “worst-kept secret” of Kerala politics.
“For many years, the worst-kept secret of Kerala politics was the friendly agreement of UDF and LDF. Now the first-time voter of Kerala is asking: What is this match-fixing? Five years one loots, five years the other loots,” he said, with Sreedharan at his side.
“Both have their marked areas for making money.”
Modi referred to the recent gold smuggling scandal that hit Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s office. “Judas betrayed Lord Christ for a few pieces of silver… just like that LDF has betrayed Kerala for a few pieces of gold.”
“‘Metro Man’ Sreedharan-ji, a man who has done excellent work to make India modern and improve connectivity, a man admired by all sections of society, has devoted himself to Kerala’s progress. As a true son of Kerala, he thought beyond power, stood firm on his commitment to Kerala.”
“BJP’s vision is forward looking and aspirational That is why the youth is openly supporting BJP,” Modi said. “People are able to connect with BJP’s vision.”
The PM also coined the acronym ‘FAST’ for Kerala. “‘F’ for fisheries and fertilisers, ‘A’ for agriculture and Ayurveda, ’S’ for skill development and social justice, and ’T’ for tourism and technology.”
Addressing the rally, Sreedharan said he had drawn up a master-plan for Palakkad that included 24-hour water supply and efficient solid waste management scheme. “I also want to have green cover for the area by planting 25 lakh trees in the next five years.”