PALAKKAD: In a meticulously drafted speech, Prime Minister Narendera Modi raised several sensitive issues pertaining to the state in his first campaign rally in Kerala here on Friday. They included the Jisha rape and murder case in Perumbavur, solar scam, symbolic funeral of the retired principal at Victoria College in Palakkad conducted allegedly by the SFI, ‘violent politics’ of Communists, rescue of Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar, who was kidnapped in Afghanistan by Taliban, nomination of Anglo-Indian Richard Hay and actor Suresh Gopi as MPs from Kerala.
Mr Modi received loud applause from the audience as he began his 40-minute speech by tendering an apology to the party supporters who had to stand in the scorching summer heat as the pandal erected by the organizers was not sufficient to accommodate all of them. Much importance was given to SNDP general secretary Vellappally Natesan with Mr Modi referring to him just after BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan.
Even though BDJS national president Thushar Vellappally was expected to turn up for the rally, Mr Natesan himself came and Mr Modi referred to him as his respected friend and leader of NDA.
Referring to the solar scam, he said that in Banaras in his constituency of Varanasi in UP, some fishermen who sail in the river Ganga were given boats that operate on solar energy. That had changed their lives for the better. “But in Kerala, I am afraid to even use the word ‘solar’ as it will be like letting off a bomb (because of the solar scam),” he added.