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Cracks in Oppn as Vijayan rakes up Congress’ role in probe against Kejriwal | Lok Sabha Elections News

Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala CM

The chief minister alleged that when former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was arrested, the Congress clamoured for the arrest of Kejriwal | File Photo: X@PinarayiVijayan

The unity among 18 anti-BJP parties, who gathered in New Delhi to protest the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, showed signs of fracture a day later when veteran CPI(M) leader and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday accused the Congress of demanding the ED probe into the Delhi liquor excise policy case.

Addressing a press conference amidst his Lok Sabha poll campaign, seeking votes for LDF candidates, who are in direct fight against the Congress-led UDF in many constituencies, Vijayan alleged that it was the grand old party which levelled the allegations against the Delhi government, demanded the ED probe, and lodged a complaint regarding the matter.

The Marxist veteran said the huge participation of people in the INDIA bloc rally held in New Delhi a day ago was a strong warning for the BJP.

He, however, added that the Congress should also learn a lesson from the rally.

Referring to the stand taken by the Congress in the Delhi liquor excise policy case, he said the grand old party should introspect on their stand when it comes to attacking non-Congress parties across the country.

“It was the Congress which raised the allegation against the Delhi government. It was the Congress which filed a complaint in that regard, paving the way for the probe by the Enforcement Directorate,” Vijayan alleged.

The chief minister alleged that when former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was arrested, the Congress clamoured for the arrest of Kejriwal.

“They asked why Kejriwal was not arrested. This was the stand taken by the Congress. However, they changed their stance, which is a welcome move. The Congress leadership should acknowledge their mistake,” Vijayan said.

Speaking on the INDIA bloc rally held in Delhi attended by all prominent leaders of anti-BJP parties including the Congress and the CPI(M), he said it was essential that “we all stand together against such moves by the BJP.”

“The Central government, led by the BJP, is targeting all opposition parties in the country,” Vijayan said.

The chief minister’s statement is significant as it was the Congress-led UDF in Kerala that demanded probe by Central agencies into various allegations raised against his government in the state, including the alleged cooperative bank scam.

It also comes in the wake of the ED registering a case against his daughter, her company, and a mining firm for alleged irregularities in financial dealings.

Top leaders of the INDIA bloc on Sunday exhorted the people to defeat the BJP to save democracy and the Constitution and alleged that the opposition has been deprived of a level playing field in the Lok Sabha elections due to the government’s “dictatorial” actions.

Coming together at the ‘Loktantra Bachao’ (Save Democracy) rally at Ramlila Maidan in the national capital, the first such show of strength by the opposition after the announcement of Lok Sabha polls, the leaders of 18 major parties slammed the arrest of Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and gave a fervent call to the alliance partners to unite in national interest.

On Monday, Vijayan, who recently addressed five back-to-back anti-CAA rallies organised by the CPI(M) in the state, also targeted the Congress on the matter, alleging that the grand old party is unable to put forward a strong stand on the contentious law, calling it “a pathetic situation.”

The CPI(M) politburo member also criticised Rahul Gandhi for contesting from Wayanad in Kerala, where the LDF, a part of the INDIA bloc, is his main rival. The BJP has fielded its state chief K Surendran in the constituency.

“He (Rahul Gandhi) has an important role in the Congress party. Why is he contesting from here? Is he fighting Surendran or the BJP here? Here, LDF is the major power, and he is here to fight the Left,” Vijayan alleged ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s scheduled visit to the hill constituency to file nomination papers.

He said that the INDIA bloc was formed to fight against the BJP.

“However, a senior leader, part of the INDIA bloc, comes to Kerala to fight the LDF, which is also part of the INDIA bloc. What should we understand from this?” the chief minister asked.

“Rahul Gandhi is facing (CPI leader) Annie Raja at Wayanad. She is a senior Left leader with national stature. She was branded as anti-national when she fought for the people of Manipur. She was attacked because she opposed the wrong policies of the BJP government,” Vijayan said.

He claimed that it was the fact-finding team led by Annie Raja that brought out the cruelty meted out against the Christians in Manipur.

“But what’s the role of Rahul Gandhi? We have seen many atrocities being carried out in the country, and we could see Annie Raja in the forefront fighting against those. But have we seen Rahul Gandhi anywhere like that?

“Where to contest is their wish. But the impropriety of Rahul Gandhi contesting from here was discussed by the whole country. Why is he not fighting the BJP and contesting here?” Vijayan asked.

Kerala will vote on April 26 in the Lok Sabha elections, and the results of the entire nation’s votes will be put out on June 4.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 01 2024 | 2:34 PM IST

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