LDF in Kerala attacks Modi, BJP over alleged sidelining of Abdul Salam from roadshow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to supporters during a roadshow, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha election, in Palakkad, Tuesday, March 19, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to supporters during a roadshow, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha election, in Palakkad, Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

Thiruvananthapuram/Malappuram | The ruling LDF in Kerala on Tuesday attacked the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his frequent visits to the state and the alleged sidelining of NDA candidate Abdul Salam from the PM's roadshow in Palakkad earlier in the day.

Hours after Modi's massive roadshow, CPI(M) leader A K Balan alleged that the NDA candidate from Malappuram constituency, Salam, was sidelined from the programme after it was earlier announced that he would be part of it.

Balan claimed that it conveyed a "wrong message that a Muslim cannot stand close to Modi", an allegation which Salam refuted, saying that there was no discrimination.

Salam said that he was not invited to the roadshow and he had gone to Palakkad only to meet Modi and invite him to Malappuram.

"I heard some candidates were going to take part in the roadshow. I was not invited to it. I did not go there to take part in the roadshow. I went there to meet Modi and invite him to Malappuram.

"I met him and introduced myself as the candidate from Malappuram. He smiled at me and wished me good luck. I expressed my wish that he would visit Malappuram and then he moved on to the next person," Salam, the only Muslim candidate of NDA from Kerala, told a TV channel.

He also said that the NDA candidate from Ponnani, Niveditha Subramanian, invited him to board the PM's open roof vehicle, "but the SPG said my name was not on the list".

"Furthermore, the vehicle was already full. So, I saw no point in arguing over the issue there. Sure, I admit, I would have liked to travel on the vehicle with Modi, who wouldn't? But, I do not believe there was any discrimination involved," Salam emphasised.

He urged everyone not to interpret it incorrectly as it could lead to creating divisions between people.

Besides Salam's alleged sidelining from the roadshow, the LDF also attacked the BJP and the prime minister by saying that his recent frequent visits to the southern state indicated that both the saffron party and Modi were scared of being defeated in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Kerala state secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Rajya Sabha MP, Binoy Viswam said that the BJP and Modi were scared of losing in the coming general elections and "to hide their fear, they keep repeating they will come to power for a third time".

He said the frequent visits of the prime minister to Kerala indicates the "panic-stricken" behaviour of someone who is afraid he is going to lose.

"What we ask is why he is unable to go to Manipur even once, when he can come to Kerala so many times?" Viswam asked.

Palakkad's roadshow was Modi's fifth visit to the state within three months.

He has already visited the state twice in January, once in February and then on March 15.

These visits included both official and party functions.

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