Congress fumes after Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan recalls ‘old name of Rahul Gandhi’

CPI(M) sources said that Vijayan intended to reference Achuthanandan's 'Amul baby' remarks against Gandhi through his 'old name' jibe.


Published Apr 19, 2024 | 8:47 PMUpdatedApr 19, 2024 | 8:47 PM

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Friday, 19 April, recalled “an old name of Rahul Gandhi” to attack the Congress leader, who a day earlier had wondered why the Marxist veteran was not jailed by the BJP government at the Centre, unlike two other Chief Ministers of Opposition-ruled states.

Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala fumed at the Chief Minister’s targeted attack against Gandhi at the election rally in Kozhikode.

He came down strongly on Vijayan and accused him of “stooping too low to please” Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress leader’s statement came hours after Vijayan apparently said that the Congress leader’s remarks against him suggested that Gandhi had not improved his public image over time.

Also Read: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan targets Rahul Gandhi, Congress

The remarks

“Rahul Gandhi…you have an old name. There should not be a situation wherein you have still not moved from that situation,” Vijayan said. He was apparently referring to Marxist veteran and former chief minister VS Achuthanandan’s remarks a decade ago against Gandhi calling him an “Amul Baby.”

CPI(M) sources said that Vijayan intended to reference Achuthanandan’s “Amul baby” remarks against Gandhi through his “old name” jibe on Friday.

During an Assembly election rally in Palakkad, Achuthanandan had attacked the Congress leader, stating, “Rahul Gandhi is an Amul baby. He has come to Kerala to campaign for Amul babies.”

Gandhi, while addressing multiple election campaigns in the state, had on Thursday lashed out at Vijayan and wondered why the Left leader was targeting him while he was fighting against the BJP.

What Rahul Gandhi said

The Congress leader had said he was interrogated by the ED for 55 hours, his Lok Sabha membership and his official residence were taken away and currently, two chief ministers are in jail, but none of these were happening to the Kerala Chief Minister.

“Why is he (Vijayan) not being interrogated by the ED, CBI and all? Two CMs are in jail, but why is none of this happening to the Kerala CM? I have been attacking the BJP 24×7 but the chief minister is attacking me. This is a bit puzzling,” Gandhi had said.

Reacting to Gandhi’s remarks, the Marxist leader addressed a massive election rally in Kozhikode, stating that Rahul’s grandmother, Indira Gandhi, had imprisoned most of the Left leaders, including himself, during the Emergency.

“Your grandmother had jailed most of us for more than one-and-a-half years. We have experienced and seen enough interrogation and imprisonment. We are not afraid of jails. So, don’t try to threaten us with investigations and jails; we are not worried,” Vijayan said.

Also Read: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan criticises pre-poll surveys, compares them to paid news

Congress seeks CM’s apology

Condemning Vijayan’s remarks against Gandhi, Chennithala said, “Vijayan should not have stooped so low to please Modi.”

The Congress Working Committee Committee (CWC) member also urged Vijayan to retract his “bad remarks” against Rahul and apologise to him.

Criticising the Chief Minister for his continuous attacks against Gandhi in his poll rallies, Leader of the Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, V D Satheesan, said, “Vijayan works as BJP’s mouthpiece in Kerala.”

“The same thing that has been written and prepared for the last 35 days is said in the press conferences and delivered in the meetings. The Chief Minister criticises Congress and Rahul Gandhi the most,” Satheesan alleged at a press conference in Alappuzha.

“Rahul Gandhi is leading the anti-fascist struggle and heading the INDIA alliance. Chief Minister Vijayan also opposes Rahul Gandhi, whom the Modi administration targets with unending vengeance. Vijayan is governed by fear. People will react strongly in the elections against the illicit relationship between the CPM and BJP,” Satheesan said.

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