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Kerala CM Slams Cong Over Absence Of Their And IUML Flags In Rahul Gandhi's Roadshow

Vijayan said the Left party does not have any secret accounts anywhere as it has no need for black money since people help it out with funds.

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Kerala CM Slams Cong Over Absence Of Their And IUML Flags In Rahul Gandhi's Roadshow Photo: File Image
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A day after Congress MP Rahul Gandhi kicked off his poll campaign for Wayanad Lok Sabha seat by holding a roadshow, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday alleged the grand old party did not show its and ally IUML's flags during the event as it was scared of BJP.

The CM also hit out at the Congress MP alleging that Gandhi "lacked the courage" to publicly display his own party's flag.

Vijayan contended the stand taken by the Congress indicates it wants the votes of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) but it is not acknowledging the flag important to the IUML.

"The Congress has fallen to a level where it is afraid of communal forces," he claimed during a press conference here.

Vijayan further alleged the grand old party was forgetting itself in front of the Sangh Parivar and was scared to show its own flag and "which is not expected from a party going to the Lok Sabha as the representatives of the people".

"They (Congress) need clarity of thought and a firm stand as the people of Kerala will need representatives who can fight on national issues and stand with the public. The LDF is able to do both and that is why there is a popular sentiment in its favour," he contended.

Rahul Gandhi's roadshow in Wayanad on Wednesday was visibly different from that in 2019 in the constituency when green flags of ally IUML outnumbered the Congress's in the crowd. This time, both the flags were conspicuous by their absence.

Vijayan contended the flags were absent because during the LS polls in 2019, the BJP had taken a dig at Congress over IUML flags, saying it was difficult to discern whether it was India or Pakistan.

The Marxist veteran said the Congress appears to have forgotten the sacrifices behind their flag and appeared to be acceding to the Sangh Parivar wish to relinquish their tri-colored flag.

He alleged the Congress was choosing to disregard the history behind their flag during such a crucial election in fear of the BJP.

"This is not a mere election strategy. The Congress and League can decide whether they want their own flag or not, but they are risking their own existence and people will see that," Vijayan said.

The CM also referred to a recent statement by a BJP MP from Rajasthan Jyoti Mirdha about amending the Constitution and said that the saffron party has not been able to do that till now due to a lack of majority in Rajya Sabha.

Vijayan contended senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary K C Venugopal, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, was now trying to pave the way for the BJP to increase its numbers in the Upper House by contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Alappuzha.

However, the people of Alappuzha will not help him win and therefore, his seat in the Rajya Sabha will not go to the BJP which needs only four seats in the Upper House to have a majority, he said.

Asked about SDPI extending its support to UDF in Kerala, the CM said there appears to be some kind of a deal between the two.

Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), political arm of the banned Popular Front of India (PFI), had extended its support to Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Vijayan alleged that there appears to be some deal between the two as KPCC chief K Sudhakaran, who is Congress candidate from Kannur LS seat, has justified and accepted SDPI support and said "this shows the opportunistic stand of the UDF."

The CM said while the SDPI announced its support for UDF in Kerala, it was allied with the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Regarding queries on allegations that the CPI(M) has hidden or secret accounts in the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank which is embroiled in a multi-crore financial scam that is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the CM denied the same.

Vijayan said the Left party does not have any secret accounts anywhere as it has no need for black money since people help it out with funds.

To substantiate his claim, he said it was the Left front which was the first to oppose the electoral bonds, while both BJP and Congress made huge gains out of it.

He further alleged the Centre was using Central agencies like the ED, CBI and Income Tax to target the non-BJP parties and Congress was opposed to such tactics only when it was against leaders of the grand old party.

When non-Congress parties or their leaders are targeted by these agencies, the grand old party takes a stand in favour of such actions by the Centre and the recent arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal was a "clear example" of the same, Vijayan alleged.

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He alleged it was the Congress' complaint against Kejriwal on the liquor policy issue that paved the way for the ED to take action against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener.

"While Congress later joined the opposition protest against the arrest of Kejriwal, it never admitted it was wrong in lodging a complaint against him in the past," the CM said.

He further said a similar stand has been taken by Congress in respect of the ED summons being issued to former Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the KIIFB during his tenure. 

Vijayan said the Left front did not attack the Congress when Robert Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi's husband, was investigated by the ED in connection with allegations of financial irregularities against real estate giant DLF.

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"That is not our politics," he said.

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