Gold smuggling case galvanises UDF in Malabar

Protest against govt. will be intensified, says KPCC chief

July 14, 2020 12:15 am | Updated 10:56 am IST - KOZHIKODE

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran

KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran

Despite its organisational set-up, the Congress-Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) combine, especially in north Kerala, remained somewhat lethargic even as the LDF government received accolades for battling the COVID-19 pandemic the last four months.

Past week has changed all that. Till the gold smuggling case has come in handy for the sluggish UDF to take on the ruling Left coalition, political analysts had been debating on Pinarayi Vijayan’s chances of returning to power in the State. The LDF government is seen as standing a bright chance after its deft handing of the crisis.

“All our allegations have been substantiated. The Chief Minister’s Office is involved in illegal appointments. There is no justification in appointing persons on adhoc basis and regularising them later. This is sheer nepotism,” KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran told The Hindu on Monday.

The Assembly elections is a little less than a year away, and the approaching three-tier local body polls in another three months will put to test the political adroitness of the main coalitions — United Democratic Front and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) — in the emerging scenario.

The UDF, Mr. Ramachandran said, would intensify its protests against the government, which he alleged was steeped in corruption. “We will be strictly adhering to the COVID-19 protocols. We are going to take the issues to the masses. Virtual meetings have already been held to chalk out strategies for local body and Assembly polls,” he added.

District- and block-level meetings will be held on Tuesday and Friday respectively. “Four regional rallies will be led by MPs and MLAs across the State on July 24. Besides, virtual rallies have been planned in all mandalams on August 2,” Mr. Ramachandran said.

A section of the UDF leadership wants to rope in Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for virtual campaigning in the coming elections.

“Under these circumstances, we have no yet decided on these plans. But certainly we will not stop until this government goes. All the tall claims on managing the COVID-19 situation have fallen flat,” he pointed out.

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