The BJP in Kerala rubbished Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's allegation that the saffron party leaders were running away from a debate on development issues and said a peaceful environment was needed for such a dialogue.

In an open letter to the chief minister, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said Pinarayi was an administrator who "failed to ensure" a free environment for his political rivals to function.

He claimed that the success of the BJP's recently- concluded 'Jan Raksha Yatra' had "frustrated" the chief minister and his party, the CPI(M), and that was why they were
spreading "half-truths" and levelling "baseless charges".

Rajasekharan's remarks came a day after Pinarayi had said in a Facebook post that his government was ready to take up the challenge by the BJP to organise a debate on development issues, but the saffron party leaders were running away from it.

"Your (Pinarayi's) claim that BJP leaders are running away from the debate on development is wrong. You also know that what is needed for such a debate is a peaceful environment," Rajasekharan said in the letter. 

"It is meaningless for you to talk about development as you are an administrator who failed to ensure an environ for political rivals to function freely. Only a very cunning person can invite his rivals for peace talks while hiding a knife behind (to attack)," he alleged.

"A chief minister who could not ensure security to all under his administration is a disgrace to Keralites," the BJP leader said in the letter.

Rajasekharan also asked Pinarayi to explain in which sector the state had made progress when the CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF ruled the state. He said the two fronts have been in power alternatively for the last several years. 

Rajasekharan alleged that at least five BJP workers were killed in the state by the activists of the ruling CPI(M) after peace talks were initiated by the government earlier
this year. In yesterday's Facebook post, Pinarayi had alleged that the 15-day long 'Jan Raksha Yatra' had propagated "lies and false messages".

The chief minister had also alleged that the state government's frequent requests to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the state's development issues have been