Pathanamthitta (Kerala), April 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday raked up the famed Sabarimala temple issue and slammed the way the Pinarayi Vijayan government took on innocent devotees of Lord Ayyappa when they were beaten with lathis.
Modi, who is on his second trip to Kerala to campaign for the BJP candidates, reached Konni, near here and was greeted by a mammoth crowd. He began his speech by chanting 'Swamiye Sharenem Ayyappa' a few times and it was greeted by a huge applause.
"I am really happy to be in the land blessed by Lord Ayyappa because those devotees who arrive here come after observing 41 days strict vrithem (penance) which makes this place blessed. From Ayyappa we learned how to do good for all," said Modi.
"But what has the Left government done, they tried to destroy the culture and portray the image of Kerala as a backward one. They carried out a mischief against the devotees. Instead of welcoming them with flowers, they were welcomed with lathis as if they were criminals. For decades the Left government is portraying Indian culture in poor light," added Modi.
Recalling Ambedkar's statement that there is no role for Communism in a democracy, he went on to say that, "Communism is like forest fire, it destroys itself and everything, but I tell you that the BJP will stand against trampling of our culture."
"Devotees are not criminals. An ideology which has been rejected internationally will not be allowed to trample our culture. Our vision is inclusive and our work is extensive. We will further Kerala's progress and protect the Sabarimala culture," Modi said.
He ended his speech by asking all to vote for the BJP.
From Konni, he reached Kanyakumari and from there he will land in Thiruvananthapuram to address his third election rally in Kerala.