Pinarayi urges BJP national leadership to investigate the ‘betrayal’ in 90-odd segments
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday accused the BJP State leadership of betraying their followers by ‘selling’ party votes to the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in at least 90 Assembly constituencies. He urged the BJP’s national leadership to investigate the matter.
The BJP’s electoral share had fallen short by four lakh votes. The UDF had made an equivalent gain, he said. Mr. Vijayan quoted elaborately from a break-up of election figures to press his charge against the BJP’s Kerala leadership.
Mr. Vijayan said large-scale cash transfer had preceded the cross-voting. BJP leaders had cut a deal with their Congress counterparts in Kerala and channelled tens of thousands of votes into the UDF’s kitty for cash. The pact spanned the entirety of the State. Politics had no role in the deal, he said. Mr. Vijayan said the BJP’s trade-off between organisational loyalty and money had occurred behind the back of the party’s national leadership.
The BJP’s top leaders had earnestly campaigned for party candidates across Kerala. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and BJP national president J.P. Nadda held roadshows and rallies. However, the BJP votes had flowed to the UDF in the very same Assembly segments.
The disloyalty had weakened the BJP’s organisational structure in Kerala and rendered it moribund. State leaders had backstabbed the BJP’s Central command.
He said the sly bargain was evident in the defeat of M. Swaraj of the CPI(M) in Thrippunithura and Fisheries Minister J. Mercykutty Amma in Kundara.
Mr. Vijayan said Ms. Mercykutty Amma was also the victim of a criminal conspiracy involving a government insider to tarnish the LDF’s image. The Opposition had scripted the drama to sow disaffection with the government among traditional fishers. It had propagated the lie that Ms. Mercykutty Amma had abetted a foreign firm to trawl the deep seas.
The State’s economy was sound. But it was vulnerable to the vagaries of the pandemic. Battling the plague and shielding the people from its worst ravages, primarily hunger and deprivation, were the new LDF government’s top priorities.