‘The Kerala Story’ takes center stage as other issues pushed to back-burner in Karnataka polls

10 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

'The Kerala Story' National

'The Kerala Story' emerged as a major issue in Karnataka polls after the Congress in its manifesto compared PFI to Bajrang Dal and promised to ban it if it wins the upcoming elections, drawing crit...

‘The Kerala Story’ emerged as a major issue in Karnataka polls after the Congress in its manifesto compared PFI to Bajrang Dal and promised to ban it if it wins the upcoming elections, drawing criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The film ‘The Kerala Story’ found itself at the centre of a nationwide debate, pushing issues such as corruption, unemployment, inflation, reservation, and development to the back burner. The Congress provided the BJP with another tool to consolidate its vote base in the coastal state as well as nearby Chikkamagaluru and parts of the Hubli-Dharwad region. The BJP accused the Congress of supporting “terrorists.”

The Centre has banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) and several other associated organisations for five years. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared the PFI and its front organisations including its student wing- the Campus Front of India (CFI) as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The Congress said in its manifesto, “The Congress party is committed to take firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred amongst communities on grounds of caste or religion.

“We believe that law and the Constitution are sacrosanct and cannot be violated by individuals and organisations like Bajrang Dal, PFI or others promoting enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities. We will take decisive action as per law including imposing a ban on such organisations,” the Congress said in its manifesto.

The Prime Minister said that the film ‘The Kerala Story’ shows the ugly truth of terrorism and exposes terrorists’ design. He added that the film is based on a terror conspiracy.

PM Modi referred to The Kerala Story during campaigning in Karnataka and said, “Such a beautiful state of the country, where people are hardworking and talented. The ‘Kerala Story’ film brings out terror conspiracies happening in that state. It is unfortunate that Congress can be seen standing with this terror trend that is seeking to ruin the country. Congress is even indulging in backdoor political bargaining with people having terror inclinations. People of Karnataka should be cautious about Congress.”

He said that the film tried to expose the new form of terrorism in society. “Terrorism has taken a new form now. Apart from using weapons and bombs, they are working towards making the society hollow from the inside out.”

“The Kerala Story’ movie has exposed this new face of terrorism. The Congress has kneeled down before the terror outfits when in power. We have suffered because of the violence for very long and Congress never protected this country from terrorism. Can the Congress protect Karnataka?” he questioned while delivering his speech.

Various BJP leaders attended the screening of the film, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda said that there is a new type of terrorism which is without ammunition, adding that the film exposes “poisonous terrorism”.

PM Modi also hit out at the Congress party and said that Congress has shielded terrorism for the vote bank.

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