DYFI Hold Protests, Demands Amit Shah’s Apology for Insulting Kerala
DYFI Kerala state secretary V K Sanoj addressing a protest condemning Amit Shah, organised by Ernakulam Block Committee
Amit Shah, the union home minister during his visit to Puttur in Karnataka, pointing to Kerala, asked the people to support Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to keep the state safe. The unwarranted comments have sparked off protests, with the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) taking out rallies and burning effigies in around 300 blocks across the state.
The youth organisation, besides deciding to carry out a poster campaign highlighting the achievements of the state in several sectors, has demanded Amit Shah apologise for insulting the achievements and the people of Kerala.
The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, other ministers and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] Kerala state committee condemned the BJP leader and demanded an explanation.
The CPI(M) has accused the BJP leaders of denigrating the state for pursuing alternative policies and ensuring people-friendly governance, while the DYFI has claimed that the union minister is promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language.
DYFI PROTEST IN 300 BLOCKS
Addressing a public meeting in Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district in south Karnataka bordering Kerala, Amit Shah asked the people of the state to vote for BJP to save them. "There is Kerala in your neighbourhood. I do not wish to speak more. Only BJP under the leadership of Modi can protect Karnataka," Shah said.
The comments are made explicitly with the upcoming assembly elections in the state in May 2023. The DYFI in a statement said that the organisation is not against any form but wanted to highlight the achievements of the state in several Human Development Indices (HDI).
Speaking to Newsclick, the DYFI state secretary V K Sanoj said, “The home minister has said that he need not speak more. On behalf of the people of the state and DYFI, we demand him to speak more so that we can weigh in on the achievements and progress made over the years”.
A protest march in Payyanur Block, Kannur district
The DYFI in a statement condemned the union minister and sought an apology for disrespecting the people and the achievements of the state. “Being the home minister of the country, the speech of the home minister intended to create regional sectarianism among the people is a violation of the constitution”, the statement of the DYFI said.
The organisation has started a poster campaign to explain the standards set by the state on the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), literacy rate, and daily wages of workers besides achievements in public health and higher education.
The DYFI also compared the status of minorities in Kerala and BJP-ruled states, as a counter to Amit Shah’s comments. “The minority communities are facing insecurity and violence in many BJP-ruled states for so many years. He has insulted Kerala despite the achievements of the state in several sectors”, the statement further added.
Thousands of DYFI members participated in the rallies and protests carried out across the state, while effigies of Amit Shah were burnt in places including Payyanur in the Kannur district.
CM AND MINISTERS CONDEMN THE STATEMENT
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while addressing a public meeting in Kottayam demanded the union home minister explain his comments. He recalled the attack carried out by the right-wing groups on minority worship places in several places including Mangalore in Karnataka. “The communal agenda of Sangh Parivar is not working in Kerala”, he added.
The CPI(M) state committee claimed that the alternate policies pursued by the LDF government are disturbing the BJP. “Kerala is moving forward by upholding alternative policies, The statements of the Union Ministers are a retaliation against such progressive measures”, the party statement said.
The minister for the Local Self-Governance Department (LSGD), M B Rajesh listed out the achievements of Kerala. “Happened to see yet another remark by a senior BJP leader supporting Mr Amit Shah’s anti-Kerala statement. He says the communist rule is the biggest mistake and Kerala has created ZERO. This is the reply, BJP leaders can count Kerala’s achievements”, he tweeted.
The minister compared the higher Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth of 12% with the country’s GDP of 6%, besides listing out the national and global prominence Kerala has achieved in recent years.
The CPI(M) had demanded the opposition, the United Democratic Front (UDF) to clarify its position on the statement of Amit Shah and other BJP leaders.
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