Special Correspondent

KOCHI: United Democratic Front (UDF) convener P.P. Thankachan has said that the Congress will contest all the three Assembly seats for which byelections are due soon.

He told mediapersons here on Tuesday that the three seats — Ernakulam, Kannur and Alappuzha — belonged to the Congress and that nobody in the UDF had any doubts about it. He said the Congress leaders had ‘a general idea’ about who would be the candidates in these constituencies.

Mr. Thankachan alleged that the October 2 ‘human chain’ planned by the CPI(M) against the Indo-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement was a political eyewash aimed to divert people’s attention from the SNC-Lavalin controversy and the CPI(M)’s links with criminal gangs in the State.

One-man show

He said the human chain would be a one-man show by the CPI(M) as no other LDF partners were joining the protest. Though the Union government had set up a Group of Ministers to study the impact of the FTA on farmers, the CPI(M) had not offered its views or shared its ideas on how to empower Kerala’s farmers to buck the FTA impact.

He said that though the Union government had announced a bevy of projects for the benefit of farmers, such as the Kuttanad package, the LDF government was not implementing any of them. Instead, it was organising human chains and other agitations against the Central government.

He said the UDF would in early November organise a meeting of MPs and Union Minister from Kerala to assess the current status of Centrally-aided projects in Kerala and also to prioritise their implementation.

The meeting would also seek how more Central projects could be attracted to the State. He alleged that the State government was either not making use of Central projects or deliberately scuttling them.

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