Communist Party of India (CPI) Deputy General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy has said that Kerala would not have lagged behind other States on the industrialization aspect had it followed the path shown by CPI stalwart and former minister T.V. Thomas.

Inaugurating the year-long Birth Centenary celebrations of the late Mr. Thomas here on Sunday, Mr. Reddy said T.V. Thomas, a first generation trade union leader and visionary who built up infrastructure for the industrial sector in Kerala, had blazed a path of industrialization, which unfortunately was not carried forward.

Still, the profit-making public sector units in the State stood testimony to his vision for development of the State.

Later, coming down heavily on the United Progressive Alliance Government’s “anti-people” policies, Mr. Reddy said the controversy over Union Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor’s remarks on former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies, despite Mr. Tharoor’s clarifications, revealed that the Congress had deviated from what Mr. Nehru had envisaged would be its stance on the nation’s foreign policy.

The CPI leader also criticized the proposed National Food Security Bill, saying that the criteria to decide who came under the poverty line, as per the Bill, would see nearly two-thirds of existing ration card holders being divested of their ration cards and being thrown to the mercy of the unpredictable open market.

The Left would have to wage bigger battles, imbibing the spirit and following the paths shown by stalwarts like T.V. Thomas to realize the people-friendly alternatives it had in mind, he said.

Earlier, CPI National Secretariat member C.K. Chandrappan laid the foundation stone for a complex that will house a T.V. Thomas Memorial building and P.K. Vasudevan Nair Memorial auditorium. A biography of Mr. Thomas was also released by Mr. Chandrappan on the occasion.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran, AITUC State general secretary Kanam Rajendran, CPI district secretary A. Shivarajan, P. Thilothaman, MLA and CPI leaders T.J. Anjalose and T. Purushottaman also spoke.