Kerala government may take legal action against Modi: Chandy

Kochi/Thiruvanathapuram: Escalating his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his controversial comparison of Kerala with Somalia, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Thursday said the state government is considering legal action against him.

As Modi faced more heat from the Congress and CPM for his remark, Chandy said he has "humiliated" Keralites the world over and that people of the state expected an unconditional apology from him and not his silence after it whipped up a controversy. Chandy also again asked Modi to withdraw the remark.

 Kerala government may take legal action against Modi: Chandy

Kerala Chief Minister Chandy.

CPM said the situation in the state did not become like the African country because BJP never came to power here.

The comparison made by Modi at a poll rally in the state early this week when he said the "infant mortality rate among the scheduled tribe community in Kerala is worse than Somalia" has set off a political storm and triggered criticism in the social media.

Twitter users have responded with hashtag #PoMoneModi (Get lost Modi), a take off from the Mohanlal starrer, which features the famous punch line "Po Mone Dinesha" to ridicule some of the characters of his hit film 'Narasimham'.

"He is the Prime Minister of the country...He humiliated the people of Kerala by comparing the state with Somalia. We see it very seriously. The Prime Minister made statement based on certain media reports...It is wrong..," Chandy told a meet-the-press programme, organised by the Ernakulam press club in Kochi.

"Since he is the Prime Minister, he should have checked official records before making such statements. We are planning to take legal action (against the Prime Minister).

Moving the Election Commission on this issue is also in our consideration," Chandy said.

Earlier in the day, in his Facebook post, Chandy, who had shot off a protest letter to PM on the issue, accused Modi of keeping mum on the controversy during his rally at Thrippunithura near Kochi late evening on Wednesday.

Stating that Kerala is far ahead than BJP-ruled Gujarat in addressing infant mortality rate and issue of malnutrition, the chief minister said what Keralites want is not his silence, but an unconditional apology from the Prime Minister.

"We are No 1 in Human Development Index while Gujarat is placed at 11th position. The Prime Minister should give us an explanation," he said.

Chandy said Modi left the election campaign rally on Wednesday without answering his questions.

"It could be due to the wide criticism he had received not only from the state, but also from the Malayali community world over," Chandy said.

Attacking Modi for his Somalia remarks, CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said "one thing the Prime Minister should understand is that the state has no such situation as in Somalia because, BJP has never come to power."

"Modi's statement would result in a setback to BJP in the ensuing polls as it has insulted the people of the state," he told reporters at Thiruvananthapuram.

In a hard-hitting letter, Chandy had lambasted Modi recently for comparing Kerala to Somalia during his poll campaign rally here, saying he has insulted the state.

He had also requested Modi to show some "political decency" by withdrawing the statement as they are "baseless and contrary to ground realities.

"The people of Kerala, whose self-pride was wounded by the Prime Minister's statement, expected an unconditional apology from him and not his silence. But it didn't happen," he said, adding, Keralites still hoped he would withdraw his 'Somalia' remark.

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Updated Date: May 12, 2016 20:33:03 IST