Thiruvananthapuram, May 20: Ahead of the assembly elections in Kerala last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew massive flak for comparing the coastal state with backward nations like Somalia and Ethiopia in terms of development. With the political jibe in mind, the CPI(M)-led Left Front government has invited PM Modi for the inauguration of Kochi Metro.
However, a row erupted over the date of invitation. In what appears to be a fiasco committed by the Kerala government, the invitation was sent for May 30. The Prime Minister would not be available on the stated date as he would be embarking upon a three-nation tour beginning from May 29.
The state BJP has accused Left Front regime of deliberately sending the invite for a day when the Prime Minister would not be available. According to Kerala BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government has ‘vested interests’ behind the fiasco.
However, the Chief Minister clarified, saying the officials committed the error. He further added that a fresh invitation would be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office after being informed about the date when PM Modi would be available. “We are in touch with his office to get a convenient date. Out of some misunderstanding it was stated that the metro would be inaugurated on May 30,” Vijayan was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Earlier, the CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, confirmed the invitation was sent to PM Modi keeping the ‘Somalia jibe’ in consideration. Speaking to his party workers in Kozhikode on Friday, Balakrishnan said the government has decided to invite PM Modi to make him realise about the development work being undertaken in Kerala.
The fresh row over invitation to PM Modi further escalates the bitter political relation between BJP and CPI(M) in Kerala. Following the formation of Left Front government in Kerala last year, at least 61 instances of political murders have been recorded, mostly in the district of Kannur.
A BJP delegation, earlier in the month, demanded Kerala Governor P Sathasivam to recommend AFSPA in Kannur, alleging the breaking down of law and order machinery due to “CPM goons”. Governor sought Vijayan’s opinion on the proposal, which the latter rejected. According to the Left Front, the BJP’s parent body – the RSS is to be blamed for growing violence in the district.