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Need graft-free third force to revive Kerala: Modi

Need graft-free third force to revive Kerala: Modi

Thrissur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his maiden visit to Kerala after assuming office, on Monday said people of the state have realised there was a need for a third force, the BJP-led alliance, which will be free of corruption.

"For long, what we have seen here are the rival fronts in the state... and every time what we see is rampant corruption. Now Kerala has realised that there is a need for a third force, which is going to be us, which will be free of corruption," Modi said addressing thousands of BJP workers, as part of a campaign ahead of the upcoming assembly polls.

Comparing the rise of the "third force" to the opening of the third eye of Lord Shiva, Modi said: "Now we have started to rise and I request you to bless us to be the third force which will revive the state as it is only we who are capable of turning the dreams and aspirations of the youth and make it a reality."

Modi arrived on Monday evening at Kochi where he was received by Governor P. Sathasivam and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. From there, he proceeded to Thrissur to address the party supporters.

Modi alleged that there was "political untouchability" towards the BJP in Kerala.

"I bow my head to the workers in my party here, because in Kerala around 200 of our workers have been murdered. This is happening only in this state, and despite that, I will say that our workers have become a model for the rest of the country," he said.

The prime minister said his appreciation towards his party men was "huge" because even with no power in their hands, they have remained steadfast.

"But the change has already begun. We did extremely well in the civic body polls held recently. I should thank all of you for allowing the BJP to do exceedingly well in the civic polls. That's the beginning of our resurgence. Very soon, we will come to the level of getting distinction," he said.

Modi said his government was working towards beleaguered rubber farmers getting a fair deal.

"Due to the dip in prices of rubber in the international market, my government has decided to levy import duty on rubber imports. This is going to be beneficial to farmers here. Moreover, we have decided to include rubber in the 'Make in India' programme," said Modi.

He assured the people that the recently appointed committee to look into problems faced by the fishing community would soon come out with path-breaking initiatives including modernisation.

Modi said his government played a very responsible role in ensuring that hundreds of Kerala nurses and men were brought back home safely from troubled countries in the Middle East.

"This happened because of our good relations with such countries. Recently, when I visited a few Middle East countries, I visited labour camps and I could find many people from Kerala. This was a first, as no one used to visit such camps before," said Modi.

He assured the "hugely talented" youth of Kerala that his government has launched schemes for getting financial aid for launching startup companies.

Modi said people needing educational loans will also face a smooth process.

He concluded his speech by wishing the people "Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year".

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