Mounting a scathing attack on the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala for ineffective governance, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday called for voting the United Democratic Front (UDF) to power so that policies and programmes of the UPA, could be implemented in the State.
Addressing UDF workers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on the first leg of his election tour in the State, Mr Singh said his ‘Left friends’ were on the wrong side of history. “They fail to recognize that the fundamentals of development have changed and that they pursue programmes which are not relevant to the needs of common man,” Dr. Singh said. "However, they succeed in giving an ideological garb to their political opportunism," he added.
Listing the various projects the UPA government had implemented in the state, the Prime Minister said that in addition to these special efforts made for Kerala, there were other programmes which could have benefited the State. However, they were not implemented on account of the indifference of the LDF government, he said.
“All know what 30 years of Left Front rule has done to West Bengal,” he said. On account of the ineffective programme implementation by the LDF government, Kerala has not progressed in a way it should have, compared to other States. He called upon the people not to allow the LDF to damage the interests of the people of Kerala.
He said he was seeking votes for the UDF and Congress on the basis of the record of the UPA, which was for every one to see. Listing various developmental schemes his government had initiated, the Prime Minister said the UPA was eager to ensure that development was inclusive. Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission were designed to provide employment and income to the marginal sections of society, he said. “However, the State government has been found wanting in implementing the JNURM in the State," he added.
Alleging that the LDF government had failed to create an environment that attracted private investment, the Prime Minister pointed out that other than the investments made by the Central government in the public sector, no major private investment had materialized in Kerala. More over, the projects that are being implemented, are inordinately delayed, he said.
According to him, the UDF government that governed the State during 2001-06 had successfully brought down the unemployment level, but there has been a reversal during the LDF rule on account of the failure to bring in investment. Alleging corruption in employment generation during the LDF rule, Dr. Singh said that the law and order situation has also deteriorated during the period. “Only CPI(M) workers were benefited during the LDF rule,” he said.
While the State was in competition with other States for investment, the State government had lost major opportunities in the IT sector compared to other States in South India. In the area of road development too, the LDF government had taken a negative attitude, he said, and added that good roads had a multiplier effect when it comes to development of hospitality industry which was another area for growth. The Sate has failed to make use of this, he lamented.
Listing the programmes unfurled by the UPA targeting marginalized sections and backward communities, he said all sections of people would have move forward when the country develops. “What is needed is the right policies to attract investment for rapid industrialization of the State. If the UDF comes to power we would be able to pursue such policies,”. He called upon the people to vote for UDF so that a government which would be able to work together with the UPA government could be formed.
The prime Minister who arrived at the Police Parade grounds by helicopter was received by the Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy and other UDF leaders. Mr. Chandy chaired the public meeting. UDF leaders Jose K. Mani, Anto Antony, Kodikkunnil Suresh, Kerala Congress chairman K.M. Mani and others shared the dais. The UDF candidates from the district were introduced to the Prime Minister on the occasion.