Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan

No assurance that a Congress member voted to power won't defect to BJP: Kerala CM

Kannur (Kerala) | Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday hit out at the Congress, in the wake of some of its well-known faces defecting to the BJP, and questioned whether there was any guarantee that its leaders when voted to power would remain with it and not join the saffron party.

Vijayan said this hours after late Congress stalwart K Karunakaran's daughter Padmaja Venugopal joined the BJP.

Speaking at an election convention organised here for the Kannur Lok Sabha Left candidate M V Jayarajan, the CM said that there are 11 former Congress chief ministers, several union ministers and hundreds of senior leaders at various levels of leadership at the state and national level of the grand old party who have defected to the BJP.

"According to a report of the Association of Democratic Reforms, between 2014 and 2021, 393 Congress members left the party, of whom 173 were MPs or MLAs and more than a hundred were senior leaders.

"In fact, from 2013 to March 2023 over 500 Congress leaders have left the party. That is the situation the Congress is in. So, if Congress is voted to power, is there any guarantee it will continue to remain as Congress? Can anyone guarantee that?" Vijayan asked.

He also asked if anyone could say how many more will join the BJP in the future.

"No one can," he added.

He also spoke about the situation faced by Congress stalwarts like former Union Minister A K Antony after their children joined the BJP.

Earlier, the head of the Congress's IT cell Anil K Antony and now KPCC General Secretary Padmaja, both children of senior party leaders, are now in the BJP, he said.

"Were they being nurtured to be gifted to the BJP?" Vijayan asked sardonically.

The CM also pointed out that the Congress candidate who contested in the 2021 assembly polls from Dharmadam constituency in Kannur is now a BJP candidate from the Kannur Lok Sabha seat.

He said that these are probably not the only examples from Kerala as the BJP has openly said that many more Congress members are in discussions with them to join the saffron party.

"What is actually happening is that they are negotiating the right price. Some have already fixed their price and are waiting for the right opportunity to jump ship," Vijayan alleged.

The veteran Left leader said that the BJP was waiting with open arms, offering money and positions, and Congress members were waiting to accept it all "like the creatures that run after pieces of bone".

He said that the BJP on its own can never win in Kerala, as the people have pushed them away irrespective of what tactics they use.

The CM said that the upcoming polls should be used to not only defeat the BJP, but also those "opportunists" who are waiting to join the saffron party.

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