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Antony, Karunakaran campaign together

By Our Staff Reporter

WADAKKANCHERRY, APRIL 6. The Chief Minister, A.K. Antony, has said that the main campaign plank of the UDF in the coming Lok Sabha elections would be a call to end the BJP rule at the Centre and to win the support of the people for ushering in development in Kerala.

Speaking at election campaign meetings of the UDF candidates in Wadakkancherry Assembly segment as well as in the three Parliament constituencies of Ottappalam, Thrissur and Mukundapuram along with the senior Congress leader, K. Karunakaran, the Chief Minister launched a scathing attack on the BJP regime at the Centre for its communal character.

He said that the policies of the BJP were chipping away at the very founding ideals of this country such as secularism and unity in diversity. It was the policies of that party that led to the communal carnage in Gujarat and in other parts of the country, he added. According to Mr. Antony, it is not the individual who matters, but it was the policies of the party to which they belonged that was more important in a Parliament election.

Attacking the CPI(M) and the LDF for its `anti-development policies,' the Chief Minister said that the CPI(M) leaders were unable to grasp the significance of the changes that were taking place all over the world, or in the neighbouring States such as Tamil Nadu or even in West Bengal. The UDF campaign in the district entered a new phase with top leaders of the ruling front, including Mr. Antony and Mr. Karunakaran addressing constituency-level conventions, which were apparently meant to spread the message of the recently evolved unity in the party. Several leaders such as the UDF convener, Oommen Chandy and the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee acting president, P.P. Thankachan, as well as the UDF Ministers K.M. Mani, T.M. Jacob, R. Balakrishna Pillai, M.V. Raghavan, K. V. Thomas, P. Sankaran and M.K. Muneer spoke at the conventions that were held at Wadakkancherry, Thrissur and Mukundapuram While the conventions in Thrissur and Mukundapuram were for the UDF candidates for the Lok Sabha, A.C. Jose and Padmaja Venugopal, the one at Wadakkancherry was for K.A. Thulasi, who is contesting from the Ottappalam Parliament seat and for the Power Minister, K. Muraleedharan, who is contesting the Assembly segment there. In their effort to highlight the atmosphere of unity, the Congress leaders had arranged the programmes in such a way that Mr. Antony was to inaugurate the UDF conventions in Wadakkancherry and Mukundapuram, where Mr. Muraleedharan and Ms. Venugopal are contesting, and Mr. Karunakaran was to inaugurate the convention in Thrissur where Mr. Jose of the `A' group is contesting. Mr Chandy could not attend the convention at Chalakkudy as he had some other programmes.

Conduct probe: Karunakaran

Meanwhile, the senior Congress leader, K. Karunakaran, demanded that the KPCC president, P. P. Thankachan, conduct an inquiry into the incidents that had happened in connection with the election of Deputy Mayor in the Thrissur Corporation. The Congress rebel candidate, P. S. Johny, who won the election today, however, said he had contested the election as per the directive of Mr. Karunakaran. Speaking at an election campaign meeting of Ms. Venugopal, Mr. Karunakaran described the development as something that should shame every Congress worker. He suggested that the KPCC president conduct an immediate inquiry into it.

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