Trivandrum (Kerala) [India], Feb 24 (ANI): Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying "evacuation of 46 nurses from war-torn Iraq in 2014 was done because they were Christians".
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Chandy dubbed former's comments as upsetting.
"The statements you had given about the nurses from Kerala during the election campaign in Meghalaya is very upsetting. As the Prime Minister of world's greatest secular democratic nation your words are highly outrageous. It's such a disgrace that you minisculed this great rescue operation done by the government targeting the majority Christian vote base in Meghalaya," Chandy said in his letter.
"The 46 Malayalee nurses were able to return because of joint efforts by the then state government and the BJP-led central government. The Malayalee community in Middle East also supported the rescue operations," he added.
Chandy in his letter also urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to back his view.
"As a person who witnessed the pain and anguish of their families, all of us had been a part of that, not because they are Christians, but what held us on, was that they are Indians and they were in deep trouble. I'm sure that Smt. Sushma Swaraj will vouch with me on this," he said.
Prime Minister Modi in his election speech in poll-bound Meghalaya on Thursday, said, "It was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government which rescued nurses from Iraq and brought them safe to Kerala. They all were Christians."
The assembly election in Meghalaya is scheduled for February 27. (ANI)