Says it will help party earn people’s respect

Congress Working Committee member A. K. Antony on Wednesday threw his weight behind Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president V. M. Sudheeran and his anti-liquor campaign.

Inaugurating the KPCC’s southern region conference of the party’s local body representatives here, Mr. Antony identified liquor and drugs as two main social evils that needed to be opposed. “I fully support Mr. Sudheeran’s anti-liquor campaign. It will go a long way in helping the party earn the people’s respect,” he said.

Mr. Antony said that the party should not be disheartened by the electoral defeat it suffered in the recent Lok Sabha elections. “It does not mean that the party will have to go for “Political Vanasam”. The Congress cannot be written off and the party will come back strongly under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. No force can stop the Congress from coming back into the reckoning”, he said.

He cited Kerala as the best example. The party won just nine seats in the 1969 Assembly elections, but it fought back in the subsequent years to become the main stay in the State’s politics.

The party organisation in Kerala is one of the strongest today. The performance of the UDF government has a high rating which helped the party perform well in the recent Lok Sabha elections, he said.

Mr. Antony hit out against the Modi government for its move to permit foreign direct investments in the defence sector. The move would undermine national security, besides setting the stage for the entry of anti-national elements. Even though he was not willing to comment on the performance of a government which was hardly a month old, Mr. Antony said the decision-making trends clearly indicated the Modi government’s path in appeasing Indian corporate bodies.

The Bharatiya Janata Party was making all-out attempts for communal polarisation. Kerala was also being gradually transformed into a fertile land for such development. The Congress should make anti-communalism its main political plank, Mr. Antony said. KPCC president V M Sudheeran said the party should learn its lessons from the electoral defeat to make a strong bid to return to power. He was confident that the Congress-led UDF will be able to rewrite history by retaining power in the 2016 Assembly elections.

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