BJP-RSS have no public support in Kerala: CM
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were "isolated" in the state with no support from the people.
"The BJP and RSS is an isolated system in Kerala. They are trying to become a major political party but people (have) rejected them. That is a reality in Kerala," Vijayan told NDTV.
A war of words has been going on between the BJP and the CPI-M, with the two blaming each other for the violence involving cadres of both the parties in the state.
Congress MLAs on Monday disrupted the proceedings of the state assembly over rising political violence involving the ruling CPI-M as well as the BJP and RSS.
Vijayan accused the "BJP-RSS people" of propagating lies and said the government has appealed to all political parties "including BJP and CPI-M" to cooperate with the government's measures to maintain peace in the state.
"People of Kerala are aware this is a malicious campaign... This is not a campaign against LDF (Left Democratic Front), this is against Kerala, the most peaceful state... The Congress is joining them for political gains," he said.
"We have also appealed to all political parties to take utmost vigil to ensure that their followers are not indulging in violence. There may be criminal elements who have cut into all political parties," he said.
Earlier, Vijayan told the assembly that violence had taken place in Kerala in the past also but this time "lies are being spread... with a purpose.
"What must be noted is that the police have acted swiftly. They have taken into custody all the perpetrators involved in the attacks -- both at the state BJP office and those behind the killing of the RSS worker," he said.
On radicalisation of Muslim youth in the state, Vijayan said the police with the help of central agencies was "closely watching the developments" and that religious fundamentalism would be defeated with the strength of secularism.
"There are a few cases of young people absconding from their places and landing up in Afghanistan or some other countries. The police are taking stringent measures to prevent it with the support of central agencies including the NIA.
"Police are closely watching the developments. In fact religious fundamentalism has misled these youngsters and trapped them. People should be vigilant about such tendencies... Because of the strength of secularism in Kerala we can face this and defeat them."
Vijayan also defended his government's decision to ease the liquor licence norms in the state, saying a total ban was not in the interest of the state or the country.
"There was no total ban on liquor in our state when we came to power. The UDF government limited bar licence only to five star hotels. We have decided to give licences to to foreign five star hotels too.
"The Left parties in the LDF are not for total prohibition. Because nowhere in the country or the world it was successful. It will promote illicit liquor and drugs. Restriction will affect our tourism as well as hospitality in our state. We have eased norms," he said.