Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said that the foundation for the confidence exuded by the Congress for the forthcoming by-elections, based on its victory in the recent Parliament elections, was unfounded.

Inaugurating the Left Democratic Front’s Alappuzha constituency convention ahead of the November 7 by-poll here on Tuesday, Mr. Achuthanandan said the Congress and its allies had managed to deceive the public into voting for them during the Lok Sabha elections by launching a false campaign, which propagated that it was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ‘shrewd economic tactics’ that saved India from the impact of the global recession.

However, the public had by now realized the truth that it was the Left’s staunch stance against privatization of private sector units, banks and the insurance sector that actually helped India withstand the adverse effects of the recession.

This realization would reflect in the public’s voting during the forthcoming by-polls, he said.

The Left had extended external support to the previous United Progressive Alliance Government based on the assurances given in the Common Minimum Programme, particularly those on the privatization issue. However, once the Left withdrew the support, the Centre was now going ahead with its anti-people policies in order to help private firms like Reliance and Tata and by signing the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, all of which were against the policies advocated by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

On the austerity measures initiated by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Achuthanandan said none other than AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had gone against her words by sending his car to Kerala on an Indian Air Force aircraft while he came on another flight.

This was also when the Centre had refused to operate IAF aircraft to send home bodies of the Thekkady Boat Tragedy, he said, adding that it had to be examined whether Mr. Gandhi’s speeches in the colleges he visited here were a violation of the Model Code of Conduct for the polls.

Mr. Achuthanandan later introduced the LDF candidate, G. Krishnaprasad. Communist Party of India State Secretary Veliyam Bhargavan, ministers T.M. Thomas Isaac, G. Sudhakaran, C. Divakaran, former ministers

Mathew T. Thomas and Mons Joseph, CPI (M) district secretary C.B. Chandrababu, CPI State Secretariat member T. Purushottaman, CPI district secretary A. Shivarajan and others also spoke.

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