Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala of disrespecting all aspects of the state’s culture, News18 reported.

“The issue of the Sabarimala temple has caught the attention of the entire nation,” he said at a rally in Thrissur. “The people of India are seeing the manner in which the Communist government of Kerala is disrespecting all aspects of Kerala’s culture.”

Earlier this month, Modi had criticised the state government for the way it has handled the Sabarimala temple controversy and said its conduct had been “the most shameful” of any party or government. He had also accused the Communists of disrespecting Indian history, culture and spirituality.

Modi on Sunday ratcheted up the attack and claimed the cultural ethos of the state was under attack by the party governing it, PTI reported.

“Neither the Congress nor the Communists have any concern for women empowerment,” ANI quoted him as saying. “If they did, they would not be opposing the National Democratic Alliance’s efforts to end triple talaq.”

The Communist parties’ aversion to women empowerment was also reflected in the fact that they had never appointed a woman as chief minister, he claimed.

Modi criticised the Congress-led United Democratic Front in the state for falsely implicating former Indian Space Research Organisation scientist Nambi Narayanan in an espionage case, the Hindustan Times reported. The Centre on Friday awarded Narayanan the Padma Bhushan, which is the third highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan.

Modi claimed that “a hardworking and patriotic” Narayanan was implicated only because a few UDF leaders wanted to settle political scores. “Imagine, for their own politics, they damaged national interest, troubled a scientist,” Modi said. “It is an honour that our government had the opportunity of conferring a Padma Award on Nambi Narayanan.”

Modi’s remarks came after former director general of police of Kerala, TP Senkumar, questioned the honour bestowed upon Narayanan.

Petrochemical complex at Kochi Refinery

Modi earlier laid the foundation stone for a petrochemical complex of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited at the Kochi Refinery, PTI reported. The complex is an initiative of the government’s Make In India scheme and is aimed at reducing the dependence on imports.

Modi said India was emerging as a major refinery hub in Asia and had established itself as a major global player. “Bharat Petroleum’s Kochi Refinery has played a critical role in popularising the clean fuel of LPG among masses in Kerala and the neighbouring states over the last 50 years of its existence,” he said, dedicating the integrated complex to the station.

“It is heartening to note that last August, when Kerala was passing through the worst floods in a hundred years, one great sigh of relief for us was that the BPCL Kochi Refinery was kept running against all odds,” said Modi. “I urge the BPCL Kochi Refinery to keep up this spirit of hard work, social commitment and innovation as it moves towards its next phase of development.”

The integrated refinery complex, which is equipped to produce cleaner fuel, will turn the Kochi Refinery into the largest public-owned refinery in the country. It is set to double the production of LPG and diesel and start producing feedstock for petrochemical projects as well.

Modi applauded the success of the National Democratic Alliance government’s Direct Benefit Transfer scheme called PAHAL and said it had been recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest such scheme in the world. Modi said that over 23 crore LPG consumers had joined the scheme, which has also helped in identifying fake, multiple and inactive accounts.

Modi also inaugurated a skill development institute in Ettumanoor and a mounded storage vessel at the Liquified Petroleum Gas bottling plant of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited in the city.

Earlier on Sunday, Modi laid the foundation of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Madurai, Tamil Nadu and inaugurated super-speciality blocks at medical colleges in Thanjavur and Tirunelveli.