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Amit Shah skips yatra at Pinarayi, leaves BJP red-faced

Kannur Oct 6: BJP leaders in the State were left red faced as BJP President Amit Shah who had claimed that he will take his fight into Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's hometown, on Thursday failed to turn up here to lead the state-wide Jana Raksha Yatra that he had kicked off two days earlier.
Shah had walked on Tuesday from Payanur in Kannur district with hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party activists and promised to return on Thursday morning to walk past Vijayan's home at Pinarayi.
The campaign, a show of strength by the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is meant to highlight alleged violence by CPI-M cadres on BJP and RSS supporters. The state-wide campaign is to end on October 17 in the state capital.
Kummanem Rajasekheran, the BJP state President, explained Shah's absence by saying that he himself could take the fight into Vijayan's camp at Pinarayi and that Shah's presence was not required.
The earlier plan was that Shah would walk nine kilometres and address a public meeting at Tellichery. According to the BJP, Shah has been called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The CPI-M, which heads Kerala's ruling Left Democratic Front, on Thursday observed a shutdown in Pinarayi town.