Kerala

UDF, LDF hold separate web rallies

Workers of the Left Democratic Front watching Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan speaking at a web rally in a ward at Pettah in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.  

Election messaging shifted decisively to online platforms on Saturday with the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) organising separate web rallies to state their respective cases before the electorate.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inaugurated the LDF’s web rally, accused the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of brokering a mutual assistance treaty to help each other overtly and covertly in the local body polls.

Mr. Vijayan said the UDF and the BJP had fielded a profusion of independent candidates to draw votes from both camps as part of their symbiotic relationship.

The UDF had sought the support of the Jamaat-e-Islami. At the same time, it had engineered a clandestine understanding with the Sangh Parivar. Majority of the Muslims did not adhere to the world view of the Jamaat-e-Islami or the RSS.

The UDF’s attempt to court both outfits had caused revulsion in Muslim voters, and the antipathy would reflect in the polls.

Mr. Vijayan said the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had not said a word against the BJP or the policies of the Central government during the campaign. The Congress and the IUML had cheered the Centre’s use of federal law enforcement to unsettle the State government. He cited the government’s development record and succouring of the people during the COVID-19 crisis.

CPI State secretary Kanam Rajendran said the BJP had used the Central law enforcement as a political tool to unsettle the LDF government.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said Mr. Vijayan was the epitome of corruption. The Chief Minister had desisted from campaigning in public out of fear of turning away voters from the LDF. The government was mired in criminality and corruption.

Central agencies suspect the government of gold smuggling, money laundering and corruption in the implementation of mega projections and hiring of costly private consultancies. Mr. Chennithala said the government feared that more embarrassing facts would stumble out as the investigation progressed.

The name of a top LDF leader and his association with gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh would emerge in the public domain soon. Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy challenged the government’s development record. UDF convener M.M. Hassan and CMP leader C.P. John were among those who spoke.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 12:03:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/udf-ldf-hold-separate-web-rallies/article33259719.ece

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