Kerala

Acceptance to UDF’s anti-graft stance: KPCC

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Mullappally Ramachandran has said the anti-corruption platform of the United Democratic Front (UDF) has resonated strongly among voters and will help the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) coast to victory in the local body elections.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ramachandran said the corruption scandals that had dogged the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and also the leadership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] had vexed traditional Left Democratic Front (LDF) voters. They wanted to punish the CPI(M) for misusing their mandate for private profiteering.

Voters disenchanted

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not a credible alternative for most, given its brand of majoritarian politics. Hence, voters disenchanted with the CPI(M) would choose the UDF. The absence of rebel candidates had helped the Congress approach the polls on full sail. Influential social organisations had no dispute with the UDF’s political stance.

Voters had an added incentive to pitch for the UDF’s development agenda. They had witnessed at close quarters how public works ground to a halt after the government slashed Plan funds. Unfinished civic projects littered the State; monuments to the LDF’s incompetence.

Mr. Ramachandran dismissed the suggestion that the UDF’s anti-corruption slogan would sound hollow at the hustings given the bribery charges against a galaxy of top Congress leaders.

Bogus charges

The Vigilance, headed by the LDF, had found the allegations raised by bar hotelier Biju Ramesh baseless. The CPI(M) had attempted to breathe life into the bogus charges in a vain attempt to retard the momentum of the UDF campaign.

The CPI(M) was also prosecuting a campaign of vendetta against Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala for exposing corruption at the level of the CMO.

The distribution of social welfare pensions, executing development works, providing free ration, modern health care and education were the bounden duties of the State.

The CPI(M) had mistakenly calculated that such governance claims alone would catapult it to victory. Antipathy to corruption and political issues would inform voters in the polls. The CPI(M) had underestimated the groundswell of opposition it faced at the hustings.

Mr. Ramachandran said the sly insinuation that the Indian Union Muslim League would dislodge the Congress as the dominant partner in the UDF and that the party was in secret alliance with the political arm of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Welfare Party of India, would not pass muster with Kerala’s secular voters. The Jose K. Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (M) would have no impact on the electoral prospects of the UDF in central Travancore.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 9:12:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/acceptance-to-udfs-anti-graft-stance-kpcc/article33253521.ece

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