Kochi | Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Monday alleged that Kerala under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has shown tolerance towards radical elements and radicalisation.
Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Chandrasekhar was hitting back at the CM who on Sunday slammed the BJP leader over his social media posts criticising Vijayan over the blasts at a religious gathering in Kalamassery near here.
He also accused Vijayan of being a "liar" and using terms like 'communal' and 'communalism' to "hide his ineptness as Home Minister of the state" and "cover up his own and his government's corruption and appeasement politics that he has copied from the Congress." Terming the BJP leader's posts as part of his communal stand, Vijayan, without naming Chandrasekhar, sought to know based on what information the union minister made such remarks against him and how a person holding a responsible position could come out with such statements while the investigation was going on.
Vijayan, during a brief press meet held at the Secretariat complex in Thiruvananthapuram, had alleged that the statements by the BJP leader were the reflection of an absolute communal outlook.
Responding to the CM's remarks, Chandrasekhar clarified that he did not mention any community in his post on the social media platform X.
"I had talked about Hamas and it was almost like the CM was trying to equate Hamas with the broader Muslim brothers and sisters of our state and country," he contended.
Chandrasekhar, on Sunday after reports of the blasts came out, had posted on X -- "Dirty shameless appeasement politics by a discredited CM (and HM) @pinarayivijayan besieged by corruption charges.
"Sitting in Delhi and protesting against Israel, when in Kerala open calls by Terrorist Hamas for Jihad is causing attacks and bomb blasts on innocent Christians." The Union Minister said his post was "in the context of the Hamas chief being given an opportunity, with no intervention by the Kerala government or police, to address a large gathering of youth and inciting them with radicalism." "What I have said, what I have always said and what our party has always said is that under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala has increasingly shown a tolerance towards radical elements and radicalisation," Chandrasekhar alleged.
He further alleged that both the Congress and the Left in Kerala have a history of appeasement of radical elements in the state.
He also claimed that both of them have been turning a blind eye to the growing radicalism in the southern state.
He said that both CPI(M) and Congress and other members of the INDIA alliance call the BJP communal when they point out radical elements or radicalisation of the youth.
"They use communalism as a cover for their ineptness, corruption and appeasement politics," he alleged.
Chandrasekhar said that unlike the INDIA alliance, the BJP was a political organisation "committed to making sure India is safe for all Indians".
"We want a collective fight against radicalism," he said.
He also accused the Congress of being "mysteriously silent" about the alleged radicalisation as well as the Hamas chief -- Khaled Mashal -- being given an opportunity to speak in a protest programme organised by an Islamist group in the state recently against Israel's war with the militant outfit.
Chandrasekhar said that the only response he got from Congress was a tweet from Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden who had remarked that the BJP leader has no faith in NIA and Kerala Police.
He said he has the greatest faith in the professionals of Kerala Police and the NIA.
"But I do not have any faith in the political leadership that manipulates the Kerala Police. My lack of confidence and political attack is on the Home Minister of the state, who is also the CM.
"If the Home Minister is unable to perform his function and protect the people of Kalamassery and Kerala, he should find someone competent to be the Home Minister and he (Vijayan) can do full-time politics in Delhi for the INDIA alliance," Chandrasekhar said.
The blasts occurred at a convention centre in Kalamassery near Kochi that was hosting a prayer meeting of the Jehovah's Witnesses -- a Christian religious group that originated in the US in the 19th century -- on Sunday.
Initially, one woman had died and 60 were injured, six of them critically, in the blasts.
Subsequently, one of the six critically injured -- a 53-year-old woman -- succumbed to her injuries. The death toll rose to three on Monday with the death of a 12-year-old girl who had suffered 95 per cent burns in the incident