Special Correspondent

To forestall the return of communal forces to power

  • Pro-UDF climate in State, says Antony
  • Chandy flays CPI(M) stand on Aralam Farm issue

    KOCHI: Defence Minister A.K. Antony has urged the Left parties to unite under the leadership of the Congress to forestall the return of communal forces to power at the Centre.

    Speaking after opening a convention of the Ernakulam District Congress Committee (DCC), he said it would be hard to fight the communal forces without the Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi. The public opinion across the country wanted the Left parties to rally around the Congress in order to check the communal forces' march. The communists should shed their old approach of defeating the Congress by allying with any ``devils'', he said.

    He claimed that there was pro-UDF climate in the State. He said the Manmohan Singh Government was very favourably disposed to Kerala. Well-presented project proposals would definitely be cleared by the Centre, he said.

    Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy said the CPI(M) was following a ``grab-all approach.'' For instance, he alleged, the party grabbed the land earmarked for Adivasis at Aralam Farm. It had shipped out Rs.1.5 crore cashew and coconuts worth lakhs of rupees.

    Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala alleged that Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan was ``an opportunist'' and that by deciding to go in for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan his mask had come off.

    DCC president V.J. Paulose, United Democratic Front (UDF) convener P.P. Thankachan, G. Karthikeyan, MLA, and KSU president Hybee Eden spoke at the convention.

    `Erosion of values'

    Staff Reporter writes from Thrissur: Mr. Chennithala has said there is a serious erosion of human values in the State. He was addressing a gathering before the Manikantanal here before flagging off a `Guruvayur Satyagriha Sandesa Yatra' on Sunday.

    Among those present on the occasion were All-India Congress Committee secretary Tom Vadakkan, KPCC treasurer C.N. Balakrishnan and Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran. Addressing the valedictory function in Guruvayur, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said the Indian National Congress was committed to secularism.

    "Secularism is the country's binding force," he said. Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi also spoke.

    Addressing the valedictory function at Manjulal in Guruvayur, Defence Minister A. K. Antony said that Indian National Congress was committed to secularism. "Secularism is the country's binding force. The party's stand on several issues has reflected its faith in this force," he said. Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi also spoke.

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