Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has asked the State government to cancel its plan to have its ‘Zero Landless Programme’ inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi, “who is only the president of the Congress party.”

In a statement here on Friday, he said the plan to have this programme launched by Sonia Gandhi at a big function here on Monday was the latest of similar actions the Oommen Chandy government had been indulging in for political propaganda using the exchequers’ money.

“Ms. Sonia Gandhi does not have any official position in the Central government…

‘Impropriety’

“One can understand it if either the Prime Minister or any of the Union Minister comes here for the purpose. It is a gross impropriety and a serious violation of procedures to call the Congress party president to launch the scheme. It cannot be accepted under any circumstance,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

He alleged that the Congress, which headed the United Democratic Front (UDF) government in the State, was imposing a heavy financial liability on the people of the State for its political propaganda.

Expenses

“There are heavy expenses involved in bringing Ms. Sonia Gandhi by special aeroplane from Delhi to the State, providing her top security and having the whole affair advertised.

“I am informed that a high-level meeting at the Revenue Minister’s official chamber last Monday had taken a decision to release big advertisements in all the leading newspapers in the State on the day of the launching of the programme by the Congress president…. In fact, this programme is conceived as the launch of the election campaign of the UDF and the Congress in Kerala,” Mr. Achuthanandan said.

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