Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a dig at the Congress stating that the grand old party was lending a helping hand in the saffron party's membership drive. He made the statement based on the scenario of Congress lawmakers quitting and cosying up to the BJP in various states.

Vijayan said, "In various states, the people's representatives and leaders of the Congress are joining the BJP. Congress has become a party engaged in increasing the membership of the BJP."

Apparently referring to the mass resignations of Congress leaders in various states, including Karnataka and Goa, Vijayan asked whether a party like that "should remain an orphan without a leader" at a time when the country is going through a very difficult phase.

The chief minister of Kerala said the Congress leadership must be prepared to face the challenges.

Not only during victories, but also during a crisis situation, there is a need to face it and provide strong leadership, he said at a function in Kerala.

The chief minister said the CPI(M) for long had been saying that those in the Congress cannot be trusted and none were sure when they would leave their party.

There is no limit to the money being floated by the BJP, he said, adding that Congressmen were like rats meekly following the pied piper.

Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullapally Ramachandran hit back at Vijayan saying that he should find immediate solutions to strengthen the CPI(M) at national and state levels after the drubbing that the Left front received in the Lok Sabha polls, instead of interfering in Congress' internal affairs.

"Congress does not want Vijayan's panacea for resurrecting the party," he said.

Vijayan had from the beginning thwarted Rahul Gandhi's efforts to form a front of secular democratic forces against the BJP at the national level, Ramachandran said in a statement.