Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy has said that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has lost its political face with the disclosures of irregularities in the electoral roll for the byelection in the Kannur Assembly constituency.
Speaking at a Meet the Press programme organised by the Press Club in Kannur on Tuesday, Mr. Chandy said that the daily disclosures of manipulations in the voters list in the constituency had shown that
the CPI(M) would go to any extent to win elections. Alleging that the CPI(M) had misused the election machinery in the constituency, he said that the CPI(M) had not shown principles expected of political
Stating that the United Democratic Front (UDF) would win all the three byelections scheduled to be held on November 7, the Leader of the Opposition said that the bypoll in the Kannur constituency assumed
importance as the election process here had exposed the CPI(M)'s misuse of power and coercion of officials to manipulate the electoral roll.
Terming the anomalies in the voters list as unprecedented in the State's election history, Mr. Chandy said that what was more suprising was the CPI(M)'s refusal to deny the allegations of irregularities in the roll. Instead the party had raised counter allegation against the United Democratic Front (UDF) that the UDF had also manipulated the electoral roll. This amounted to condoning the offence committed by the CPI(M), he said adding that the UDF would take action if any UDF worker had been shown to have got their names enrolled in the voters by illegal way.
Asserting that the Congress had always upheld democratic principles, Mr. Chandy said that manipulations of voters list would destroy the people's trust central to democracy. It had now been disclosed that two CPI(M) panchayat members in neighbouring constituencies had got their names enrolled in the voters list and large number of party supporters from other parts were included in the roll using CPI(M) and party-controlled institutions in the constituency. Many house owners had started lodging complaints about use of their building numbers by CPI(M) workers to be included in the roll, he said.
Stating that the UDF was fully satisfied with the actions taken hitherto by the Election Commission with regard to the election process in the Kannur constituency, Mr. Chandy said that the UDF would resort to legal action against people who had unlawfully got their names included in the voters list. UDF workers had already started gathering evidence of anomalies in the voters list, he said that this was also being done to prevent future manipulations of electoral rolls.
CM's statement on ASEAN Treaty irresponsible: Mr. Chandy said that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan's statement that Prime Minister Manmohan Sangh had betrayed the people on the Indo-ASEAN Free Trade
Agreement was not befitting his position. He said he challenged the Chief Minister to prove that there was no negative list in the agreement. The negative list was part of the agreement and it would be there when the agreement was being implemented from January 1, he said.
Referring to doctor's strike in the State, Mr. Chandy said that the entire health care sector in the State had been facing a serious situation. The Chief Minister had not called an all-party meeting on the issue he had promised three weeks ago. The announcement of the upgradation of the medical college hospitals as referral hospitals should have been preceded by introduction of more facilities in district, taluk and public health care hospitals, he said. Observing that ban on private practice had its merits and demerits, he said that the decision had not been preceded by prior preparations.
The Opposition Leader also demanded action against all those responsible for 'insulting' late Mercy Ravi, wife of Union Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi, by including a derogatory reference to her in a higher secondary question paper.