Left leaders not afraid of jail unlike Congress: Pinarayi Vijayan

Pinarayi Vijayan and Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Manorama/ PTI

Kozhikode: A day after Congress leader and Wayanad UDF candidate Rahul Gandhi targeted Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and asked why he was not interrogated or arrested by Central agencies, the Left leader on Friday said he was not afraid to go to jail, unlike Congress leaders.

Gandhi, while addressing multiple election campaigns in the state, had on Thursday lashed out at Vijayan and wondered why the Left leader was targeting him while he was fighting against the BJP.

The Congress leader had said he was interrogated by the ED for 55 hours, his Lok Sabha membership and his official residence were taken away and currently, two chief ministers are in jail, but none of these were happening to the Kerala Chief Minister.

"Why is he (Vijayan) not being interrogated by the ED, CBI and all? Two CMs are in jail, but why is none of this happening to the Kerala CM? I have been attacking the BJP 24/7 but the chief minister is attacking me. This is a bit puzzling," Gandhi had said.

Addressing a massive election rally at Kozhikode, where the CPI(M) has fielded senior leader Elamaram Kareem, Vijayan said Rahul's grandmother, Indira Gandhi had put most of the Left leaders, including him, in jail during the Emergency.

"Your grandmother had jailed most of us for more than one-and-a-half years. We have experienced and seen enough interrogation and jailing. We are not afraid of jails. So don't try to threaten us with investigations and jails, and we are not worried," he said.

The CPI(M) veteran mocked Ashok Chavan, who quit Congress and joined the BJP, and said the Left leaders were not going to "cry like Ashok Chavan and say that we cannot go to jail." The Left leader did not spare Priyanka Gandhi and brought out the electoral bonds issue related to her husband and a real estate company, DLF.

Vijayan said there were allegations and cases against her husband, but those were ended after the company paid Rs 170 crore in electoral bonds to the BJP during 2019-2022.

Launching a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi and the 17 UDF MPs from the state, Vijayan said none of them raised their voice for the rights and interests of Kerala in Parliament.

"When Kerala was financially strangulated by the Union government, did the Congress MPs including Rahul Gandhi, raise their voice? They refused to support Kerala. We understand the hatred of the BJP towards Kerala, but why is the Congress so offensive about our state?," Vijayan asked.

He continued his criticism of the Congress over its stand on the contentious CAA and said the grand old party was not worried over the concerns of crores of people who are going to be affected by that law. "Crores of people in the country are worried that their daily normal lives will be disrupted due to the CAA. They are worried about whether they will be able to live in this country.

"Their concerns need to be addressed and we all need to stand with them. But why is the Congress silent on these matters and sides with the Sangh Parivar," Vijayan asked. He said the Congress, which initially joined the Left party during the protest against the CAA, later withdrew.

In his speech, the Kerala Chief Minister also attacked Central investigative agencies and said the ED was calling the political leaders to its offices under the guise of interrogation but making them wait for hours. "Senior political leaders are called to record their statements, but they will make them wait for hours. The media here celebrates this by saying that they were interrogated for hours," Vijayan alleged. He also criticised the targeting of KIIFB by the ED.

Vijayan said the Masala Bond was issued by KIIFB after following the due procedures and obtaining permission from RBI. "It is a matter of pride that Kerala was able to issue the Masala Bond, which shows that we were financially sound. The details of the fund utilised through the masala bond, repayment of that amount and all other details are submitted before the RBI. We have repaid that amount. The ED was unable to find any lapses," Vijayan said.

He attacked the Congress, saying the grand old party sided with the Sangh Parivar when cases were registered against the non-Congress political parties across the country. He said it was the Congress that filed the case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, which was later taken over by the ED, which arrested the AAP leader.

The Lok Sabha elections for the 20 seats in Kerala will be held on April 26, and the results will be out on June 4. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.