Thiruvananthapuram: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks comparing Kerala to Somalia kicking up a storm, top Congress and BJP leaders on Thursday sparred over the controversial analogy.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Prime Minister's statement was not in good taste even as BJP leaders sought apology from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for spreading 'false propaganda' against Modi.
"We are not against people of Somalia. He has compared Kerala for negative things of Somalia," Azad said at an election rally in Thiruvananthapuram district.
"In his (Modi) sub-conscious mind there is hate...Why people of Kerala are not voting for him. That is why he is abusing people of the state," he said.
Hitting out at Chandy, Union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar said Chandy was trying to divert the attention from development issues and was 'spreading lies'. The chief minister was indulging in "false propaganda to cover up his administrative failure and corruption," he told reporters. "It is not the duty of Prime Minister to reply to the lies of chief minister," he said.
The prime minister was initiating steps for the country's development with a far-sighted vision. "I have only one thing to tell Chandy. Po Chandy...PoMone (Go off) Chandy," he said.
The minister said during Chandy's tenure, corruption cases like solar and bar scams had erupted and a dalit woman was brutally raped and murdered. Government could not take steps to bring the guilty to book so far, he said. On the political situation in the state, he claimed the chief minister was indulging in 'adjustment politics' while shaking hands with CPI-M leader, Pinarayi Vijayan, he said.
"In West Bengal, they celebrate honeymoon, while in Kerala they are having secret relations."