Clash of views at poll debate

Kerala Congress (M) general secretary Joseph M. Puthussery and Communist Party of India district secretary P. Prasad at an election debate held at the Pathanamthitta Press Club on Monday.  


KC(M) calls for Congress-Left ties; CPI(M) criticises UPA, UDF

A difference in tenor in the dialogue between two opponents marked the debate at the Pathanamthitta Press Club on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on Monday.

While the Kerala Congress (M) called for ties between the Left and the Congress to keep away ‘fascist’ forces, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) went all out in its criticism of both the Congress-led coalition both in the State and in the Centre.

Speaking at the debate, P. Prasad, Communist Party of India district secretary, said both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Congress were scared to discuss the present political scenario in the country,

He alleged that the UDF leaders were trying in vain to create a smokescreen by raising certain issues that seldom affect the common man at a time when the people were reeling under ever-shooting prices of essential commodities, scarcity of drinking water, crisis in the farm sector, and the anarchic state of affairs across the country.

Mr. Prasad alleged that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) that had ruled the country, forgetting the common man and protecting the interests of the corporate lobby, during the past five years now sought popular mandate just to keep the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) away from attaining power at the Centre.

But the Congress and the BJP, who were controlled by corporate companies, were just two sides of the same coin, Mr. Prasad alleged. He said the price rise was a creation of these corporates who had been procuring food and other agriculture produces at a far lower price for selling them at a much higher rate with the support of the ruling Congress and the UPA. Why was the price of rubber products not coming down at a time when the rubber price dipped to a great low? he asked.

2-G scam

The country witnessed the biggest ever scams in its history in the past five years. The infamous Rs.1,26,645-crore 2-G Spectrum scam, Rs.1,86,000-crore coal block scam, Adarsh flat scam, etc, were only the tip of a giant iceberg, he alleged. Mr Prasad said the sitting Congress MP, Anto Antony, was not only a gross failure but also another agent of the corporate lobby (a private airport company).

The MP was after the airport project at a time when even the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president and a majority of the MLAs in the State Legislature strongly opposed the project.

Mr. Prasad alleged that Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was playing the role of a village officer by conducting the much-publicised ‘mass contact’ programme. According to him, LDF candidate Peelipose Thomas, who always stood for the welfare of the people and for the sustainable development of the district, was sure to get the people’s mandate in the ensuing polls.

KC(M) for secularism

Addressing the seminar, Joseph M. Puthussery, Kerala Congress (M) general secretary, stressed the need for a concerted effort by all secular democratic forces in the country to form a stable government at the Centre.

He said the UPA government had faced the elections twice after a full term and had enacted key legislations like the Food Security Act, and Right to Information Act. It had also taken effective steps for poverty alleviation, employment generation, rural development, etc.

Mr. Puthussery also called for effectively checking the fascist, communal forces from attaining power at the Centre and for all secular, democratic parties, including the Left parties, to extend cooperation to the Congress for forming a stable government at the Centre.

The KC(M) leader said the UDF government had proved itself as a popular government by initiating a series of development and welfare schemes in a short span of three years. He said that was why Mr. Chandy had publicly stated that the ensuing polls could also be treated as a popular assessment of the State government’s performance.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2018 4:42:18 AM |