Thiruvananthapuram: Taking a dig at Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the Central Minister who is supposed to look into world affairs went to inspect the flyover under construction on the NH-66 at Kazhakkottam.
Attending a program here, the Chief Minister said the Union Minister’s Kerala visit is with an intention for electoral gain in the next Lok Sabha polls.
“Don’t think that it was only for just seeing the flyover. There were reports that Jaishankar is entrusted with the BJP candidates’ victory in the Lok Sabha polls,” he commented sarcastically.
Jaishankar is assigned with the task of winning Kazhakkutam, the CM quipped.
Reacting to the Chief Minister’s comment, Jaishankar, while addressing a press conference organized by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), said why the Chief Minister is seeing politics while assessing the progress of development projects by the Centre.
“It is the responsibility of the Union Ministers to keep a watch on the progress of the Central schemes at the ground level. If they don’t do it, they are not performing their job,” Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to Kerala, said.
Responding to the issue, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan asked why the Chief Minister was getting intolerant of the Union External Affairs Minister’s visit to Kerala. The Chief Minister should correct his stand, he added.
On Monday, Jaishankar claimed that the truth will come out in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case in Kerala.
The Union External Affairs Ministry was aware of the issues that happened at the UAE Consulate here in connection with the case, he claimed.
Everyone should act according to the law and there were many things that should not have happened, he added.
He said he would not say anything more on the case which is under the consideration of the court.
Stating that his three-day visit to Kerala is part of strengthening the BJP, he said the party deputed union ministers in the charge of each Lok Sabha constituency to give more attention to the next general elections.
Saying that he is in charge of Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha Constituency, Jaishankar said the party is making strategies targeting six Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
Announcing that the BJP is coming up with Mission Kerala strategies long before the next Lok Sabha elections, he said the party focuses in Thiruvananthapuram, Attingal, Pathanamthitta, Mavelikkara, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, and Palakkad constituencies.
Jaishankar said he is being met with party office-bearers, beneficiaries of central government schemes, women voters, youth voters, and civic leaders.
Based on the first round of discussions and meetings, the Ministers in charge of Lok Sabha Constituencies will submit their reports to the party’s national leadership.
Based on which, an outline will be prepared for the moves in the next rounds, he said adding that Shobha Karandlaje, Bhagawanth Khuba, and Ashwini Kumar Choubey are in charge of Pathanamthitta, Palakkad, and Thrissur Lok Sabha seats respectively.
The BJP planned the Kerala Mission as part of its strategy to capture power in South India according to the decision taken at the BJP National Executive in Hyderabad.
Earlier, while interacting with youths, the Union Minister said the country witnessed a lot of changes in various sectors including digital connectivity after the NDA came to power eight years ago.
“What I witnessed in my youth was very much different from today’s world of youngers,” he observed.