Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while campaigning for the party candidates in the upcoming Kerala state Assembly elections in Kochi, targeted Pinarayi Vijayan over the gold scam and asked whether his former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar was involved in the scam. “He must give an answer. Was his principal secretary involved in the case or not? If he was, then he (the CM) has no right to question us; he must answer to the public as to why he chose a Principal Secretary who is involved in smuggling.”
Justifying the role of central agencies in investigating the case, Shah said, “If any scam happens in India, if not the ED, will any UN agency perform an investigation?”
Shah also claimed the people of Kerala view the BJP as an alternative to the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF). The Union Minister also hit out at the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) governments and said that they have made Kerala a hub of corruption. "When UDF comes to power, there is a solar light scam and during LDF's tenure, there are dollar and gold scams," he said.
He also brought up the protests by the PSC rank holders in the state. "It is time to change this UDF-LDF alternating governments in the state. While Narendra Modi is leaping with development, Kerala is submerged in scams," Shah further added.
Meanwhile, Shah assured action against those who supposedly harassed nuns belonging to a Kerala-based congregation during their train journey via Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. Shah said, “I want to assure the people of Kerala that the culprits behind this incident will be brought to justice at the earliest”.
Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote to Shah calling for strict action in the matter. Stating that such incidents “tarnish the image of the nation and its ancient tradition of religious tolerance and practice,” Vijayan wrote, “(this) requires utmost condemnation by the Union Government.”
Two nuns and two postulants were taken off an express train and detained for questioning by the railway police in Jhansi after local Bajrang Dal activists complained that the postulants were allegedly being taken forcibly for religious conversion.