KIIFB pushing Kerala into debt trap, says Nirmala Sitharaman at BJP rally

Nirmala Sitharaman
BJP activists presents a picture of Lord Ayyappa to Nirmala Sitharaman. Photo: Facebook/BJP Keralam

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday termed Kerala 'fundamentalists' own country', saying violent has been rampant in the state under the CPM-led LDF rule.

The BJP leader also took on the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government for its budget, questioning the role of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) in its making. She said KIIFB was pushing Kerala into a debt trap.

Condemning the killing of an RSS worker allegedly by SDPI activists in Alappuzha last week, she alleged that the CPI(M) had "backhand alliance" with Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), a political offshoot of Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).

"My heart breaks when I have to say this. A young party activist... RSS pracharak Nandu Krishna was hacked to death. Is this God's own country?", she said.

She was inaugurating a meeting organised in Tripunithura for giving reception to 'Vijay Yatra' of the BJP led by state party president K Surendran, Sitharaman alleged that the "fundamentalist misbehaviour" will not be questioned in Kerala because of the CPI(M)'s "backhand alliance with SDPI."

"I am afraid to say this. God's own country is now gradually becoming fundamentalists' own country", Sitharaman said, also referring to the killings of two Youth Congress workers in Kasaragod allegedly by CPM activists in 2019 and rape and death case of two minor Dalit sisters in Walayar.

She also slammed the LDF government for giving permission to fundamentalist outfits to "carry out procession" on the occasion of 100th year of 1921, Mappila Rebellion.

Describing it as a "Hindu genocide", Sitharaman said, "that is celebrated now."

"There is a backhanded alliance with SDPI. So no fundamentalist behaviour will be questioned here. Otherwise, how will the 1921 Hindu genocide Mappilla rebellion is being celebrated here now. Fundamentalists are getting permission to celebrate it now," the minister alleged.

She also questioned Congress for its alleged silence over the issue.

"Congress is silent. This is not minority appeasement but fundamentalist appeasement is happening in Kerala," she said.

While for many scholars, the rebellion also known as Malabar rebellion is primarily a peasant revolt against the colonial government, for the BJP and the Sangh Parivar organisations, the movement, which was part of the Khilafat movement during independence struggle, was a Hindu genocide during which many Hindus were killed or forcibly converted to Islam in two Taluks of North Kerala.

Sitharaman also condemned the state government for giving permission for organising protest marches during the visit of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for inaugurating the "Vijay Yatra" in Kasargod.

Talking about the role of KIIFB in Kerala budget making, the Union Minister said, "I don't know what budget making is this when all the money is given to one KIIFB. What is this organisation? We also make budget in the union government. We don't give all money to one particular
agency and say, 'we'll see'."

She said the CAG has criticised the functioning of the KIIFB.

Presenting the buget for this fiscal, Kerala Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac had placed his bets on KIIFB to fund development projects in the state.

"The CAG has commented and criticised... Total questionable operation. If this is budget making, no wonder Kerala is going into a debt trap. And this is a questionable affair. Corruption," she said.

KIIFB was constituted by the Government as a Body Corporate financial institution in Kerala to mobilize funds for infrastructure development from outside the state revenue.

She also referred to the Kerala gold smuggling and alleged role of CM's office in it to attack the CPM-led government.

(With PTI inputs)

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