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Tell at whose behest changes were made in chopper deal: Shah to Antony

RANNI (KERALA):Targeting former defence minister and senior Congress leader A.K. Antony over the AgustaWestland chopper deal, BJP President Amit Shah on Thursday asked him to make it clear on whose orders “changes in the agreement” were made.

File photos of BJP National President Amit Shah and Former Defence Minister AK Antony.

“Antony should tell at whose behest changes were made in the agreement. Why were the field trials of the helicopter shifted abroad,” Mr. Shah said, launching his campaign for the May 16 assembly elections in Antony’s home state of Kerala.

Addressing a public meeting at Ranni in Pathanamthitta District, he slammed Mr. Antony for his statement that BJP had a “secret tie-up” with CPI(M) in Kerala and dismissed the allegation.

BJP had only one open agenda and that was to dump both the Congress-led UDF and CPI-headed LDF “in the Arabian sea”, he said, projecting his party as the alternative in the state.

On their claim that there would be communal tension in Kerala if BJP-led NDA came to power, Shah said his party was ruling in 14 states and there was no communal strife in any of them.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly said equal justice and protection to all is our motto. This is what BJP governments follow in all the states,” he said.

Mr. Shah said NDA should come to power in the state to speed up the declaration of the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala near here as a national pilgrim centre and also for setting up the proposed rubber park in the district.

The BJP chief alleged that during the successive rules of UDF and LDF, several injustices had been done to various sections of the society.

“If NDA comes to power, these injustices will be rectified,” he said