'Spoke of Hamas, not any community': Rajeev Chandrasekhar slams Pinarayi for supporting radicalisation

Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Photo: PTI

Kochi: A day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan threatened legal action against BJP leaders including Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar for making communally-charged comments in the wake of the Kalamassery blasts, the minister justified his posts on social media.

“Both the Left and Congress have been allowing radical elements to grow in the state,” he said while referring to the online address made by former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal at a meeting organised in support of Palestine by the Solidarity Youth Movement in Malappuram on October 28. “I never spoke about any particular community. I specifically mentioned 'Hamas'. It is almost as if Pinarayi wants to equate Hamas with one community,” he said.

Chandrasekhar also quoted the case of Elathur train arson which was initially dismissed as an act by a mentally ill person. The NIA had later proved that the accused had terror links. "Under CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala has shown increasing tolerance towards radical elements and radicalisation. Whether it is the Kozhikode attempt to burn a train which would have caused, if he had succeeded, over 200-300 deaths and the characterisation of that person as being mentally ill till it was revealed that he was an ISIS sympathiser; that was a deliberate attempt at terrorism. There is a history of appeasement of radical elements by both the Congress and the Left in Kerala," the minister added.

“Pinarayi is using communalism argument as a shield to hide his inefficiency as a Home Minister. The INDIA alliance is also quick to pin the communal tag on RSS and BJP without any basis,” he said.

Chandrasekhar visited the victims of the attack at the Government Medical College in Kalamassery. "I have come here on behalf of all my colleagues and the government to visit these patients and the victims of this bomb blast, to see how they are progressing... I will visit the bomb blast site after this... I am grateful to the hospital staff here for treating and saving lives... It is certainly a very difficult time for the families of those who lost their loved ones..," Chandrasekhar said after a visit to the hospital. He added that he'd comment about the case later.

Three people were killed and over 50 were injured during the multiple blasts at the international convention centre in Kalamassery on Sunday where followers from minority Christian group, Jehovah's Witnesses, had gathered for the final day of a three-day-long prayer meeting.

Soon after the incident Chandrasekhar took to social media platform X to slam the state government and say that Kerala's support for 'Terrorist Jihad' led to the attack on innocent Christians. A member of the Jehovah's Witnesses Dominic Martin later confessed to the crime.

Though he did not name the minister, Pinarayi was especially critical of the Union Minister's remarks which was misleading and 'communal' in nature. "This is a highly prejudiced approach with a clear intention to target a particular community. It is part of their communal agenda," Pinarayi said. "On what basis has he made these statements? Was he in possession of any sensitive information that prompted him to make such a statement? This is a grave issue. People should not be misled. We will take this on legally," the Chief Minister said.

Before Dominic Martin made his confession, Chandrasekhar had also said that the blast happened just 24 hours after the LDF government gave permission to an event that had a Hamas leader inciting people to violence against non-believers.

The Chief Minister said legal action would be taken against all communally motivated remarks, whether by anonymous people on social media or by union ministers.

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