: Congress leader K. Muraleedharan, who is contesting the Vattiyurkavu Assembly seat, on Saturday, said the United Democratic Front (UDF) was feeling the absence of K Karunakaran.

Replying to questions at a Meet-the-Ppress programme, Count Down 2011, organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club here, Mr. Muraleedharan said he too personally missed his father, who had guided him in his career except in the 2009 Lok Sabha election when he was in another party.

Party's respect

He felt the Congress high command had considered fielding him because he was Karunakaran's son. “This clearly shows the high regards and respect the party has for Karunakaran,” he said.

Vote for change

He said the electioneering trend clearly indicted that the people of the State wanted a change in government.

He said the Chief Minister, in his campaign speeches, was raking up old issues to create a smokescreen so as to conceal his government's failure. Mr. Achuthanandan was speaking in the voice of the Leader of the Opposition rather than the Chief Minister, he said.

‘No personal remarks'

Asked about his rival Cheriyan Philip, who is contesting as an LDF Independent, Mr. Muraleedharan said he did not want to make any adverse remarks personally against his opponent because he considered it a political contest.

However, based on his bitter experience, he felt Cheriyan Philip should soon consider returning to the Congress.

‘Support UPA'

He was confident that the people would vote for a government that supports the UPA.

Even though there was a delay in the candidate selection, the UDF was united in fighting the elections, he added.