Palakkad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday lashed out at the traditional rival fronts in Kerala, saying both looted the state during their reigns. He said the massive crowds at his rally here were an indication that it was time the BJP emerged as a third force in the Kerala assembly.
"In the past six decades, what has been seen here is that every five years governance changes between the Congress and Communists. For five years the Congress loots, and then for five years the Communists do the same, and it continues," said Modi.
Modi arrived here by helicopter from Coimbatore around 3 p.m. and was received by all the top state leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies.
Speaking in Hindi, Modi took along with him the massive crowd, which cheered each time he hit out at the rival fronts.
"I have come to Kerala many times in the past, but this sort of a massive reception I am getting for the first time. And this shows that if this is the reception that I have got, then the time has come that the BJP will emerge as the third force in the Kerala assembly," said Modi, to loud cheering.
He said if Kerala has to be "rescued", then the BJP is the only answer and the party will "not bring disrepute to the name of Kerala".
Modi used his speech to slam the ruling Oommen Chandy government over the solar scam and also on the mishandling of the investigation into the death of a poor Dalit law student.
"In Benares, solar energy is used to power daily life, but in Kerala, I am afraid of saying the word solar; as here the ministers make money from solar," said Modi to loud applause from the crowd.
He said the union government worked very hard to evacuate Kerala nurses working in Iraq and Yemen during the trouble in those countries.
"The government in Delhi and Minister Sushma Swaraj worked for nights together to see that these nurses are brought back safely. But what's happening in Kerala, it's been more than a week since a poor Dalit lady student was raped and murdered, but till now none has been caught," said Modi.
Though Modi as prime minister has visited the state in the past, this is the first time he is speaking politics. He came down heavily on his party's political adversaries in the state.
Modi also pointed out that he stands in Palakkad, which is often referred to as the district which supplies a lot of agricultural products to the state, but agriculture is in doldrums in the state.
"Both the Communists and the Congress opposed modernisation in agriculture, but the BJP stands for development and has got a vision for it," said Modi.
Modi also reminded people that he and his government have always held Kerala in high esteem and that was seen when they nominated Suresh Gopi to the Rajya Sabha.
Winding up his speech, Modi called upon the people of Kerala to vote for change and elect the National Democratic Alliance "because a change is the need of the hour in Kerala".
After his speech he returned to Tamil Nadu. He is returning next week when he speaks at five election rallies spread over two days.
Kerala goes to the polls on May 16 to elect 140 legislators to the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly. The party is yet to open its account in the assembly.