Amit Shah Skips Kerala In Abrupt Sked Change, Meets PM Modi, Arun Jaitley In Delhi

After Amit Shah's abrupt change of plans, Kerala BJP leaders led thousands of party workers through Pinarayi village, Chief Minister's hometown.

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Amit Shah Skips Kerala In Abrupt Sked Change, Meets PM Modi, Arun Jaitley In Delhi

Amit Shah skipped BJP's Jan Raksha Yatra in Kerala, meets with PM Modi, Arun Jaitley in Delhi

Thiruvananthapuram: 

Highlights

  1. They are expected to discuss the economy, Gujarat elections: Sources
  2. BJP had said earlier that Amit Shah would walk 9 km, address public rally
  3. Amit Shah will now join BJP yatra when it wraps up in Thiruvananthapuram
BJP chief Amit Shah today skipped a visit to Kerala, opting out of a walk through Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's village as part of the party's 15-day yatra in the state. He flew instead to Delhi from Mangalore this morning for a key meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.    

Mr Jaitley has just returned from an official visit to Bangladesh. Though officials did not say what was discussed in the meeting, sources said the leaders were expected to discuss the economy and also possibly the Gujarat assembly elections due later this year. PM Modi had in a speech yesterday refuted criticism of the government's handling of the economy and promised steps to reverse the current economic slowdown. He also promised to identify and remove hurdles faced by small traders after the launch of the new national tax GST.    

Amit Shah's abrupt change of plans meant that state BJP leaders led thousands of party workers through Pinarayi village, roads to which were lined with BJP flags and posters to welcome the BJP chief. The party had said earlier that he would walk nine km and address a public rally today. Senior BJP leaders dismissed speculation that the party chief had decided to skip today's Kerala visit because response to the yatra he launched two days ago has been tepid. There is no question of a poor response, they asserted.
 
amit shah jan raksha yatra pti

Amit Shah will now only join the BJP yatra when it wraps up in Kerala capital on October

In Kerala's Kannur, state BJP chief Kummanem Rajasekheran said Mr Shah's presence was not required as he himself could take the party's fight into Mr Vijayan's home base. Chief Minister Vijayan's party, the CPM, had called for a shutdown of the town, amid massive security, in anticipation of Mr Shah's second visit for the yatra, which aims to highlight what the BJP has called the "murder politics" of the ruling CPM.

Party spokespersons confirmed Amit Shah will now only join the BJP yatra when it wraps up in Kerala capital Thirvananthapuram on October 17. The BJP chief had launched the Jan Raksha (protect the people) yatra on Tuesday, with prayers at a Kannur temple and a searing attack on the CPM and the Chief Minister, stating, "More than 84 BJP and RSS workers have been killed in Kannur district alone. I want to ask Pinarayi Vijayan...Who has killed them? If he does not have answers, then I am saying that the chief minister is responsible for the killings."

Mr Vijayan hit back accusing the BJP of "trying to break the secularism of the state," and alleged, "Amit Shah came and became like a wet cracker here." He said the state government will "not be scared away by the weapons and wealth you have collected. Nobody should think that you can scare us away."

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