The ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF), and the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP)-led Left Unity Front (LUF) formally kicked off their campaign for the Lok Sabha elections here on Sunday. While Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated UDF candidate Shashi Tharoor’s campaign, LDF candidate Bennet Abraham’s campaign was kick-started by Communist Party of India(Marxist) [CPI(M)] State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

K.K. Rema, widow of slain RMP leader T.P. Chandrasekharan launched the LUF’s SUCI candidate M. Shajarkhan’s campaign.

Inaugurating the UDF candidate’s election convention, the Chief Minister accused the CPI(M) of having distanced itself from the people by pursuing a politics of violence.

That the LDF had to go on a frantic search for candidates showed the pathetic plight of the CPI(M) and its allies. The CPI(M) did not have leaders of mass appeal, and had to approach even people who did not share its political ideology to contest the elections, he said.

Launching the LDF candidate’s election campaign, Mr. Vijayan said the Congress would learn a bitter lesson at the national level and in the State.

The RSP’s switchover to the Congress camp was planned early and executed keeping party general secretary T.J. Chandrachoodan in the dark, he said.