KERALA

Anti-people policies led to UDF debacle: Pinarayi

Pinarayi Vijayan says the NC(I) had more supporters than the Congress in the two constituencies

Pinarayi Vijayan says the NC(I) had more supporters than the Congress in the two constituencies  

`Religious fundamentalists did not vote for LDF'

Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has said the UDF debacle in the recent byelections is because of its anti-people policies and not because of religious zealots voting for LDF candidates.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, Mr. Vijayan said that the UDF leadership had chosen to dodge `the real reasons' for its rout in the Koothuparamba and Azhikode byelections and instead attributed it to LDF candidates pocketing votes of religious extremists in large numbers.

UDF convener P. P. Thankachan is reported to have said this after a meeting of the UDF leadership held in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday to review the byelection results.

Outside poll agents

Mr. Vijayan said that in Koothuparamba and Azhikode, the UDF position was so weak that it had to bring election agents to man polling booths from outside.

``The National Congress (Indira) had more supporters than the Congress in these two constituencies,'' the CPI(M) leader remarked.

The CPI(M) leader said while he believed that Muslims who had got distanced from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in these two constituencies had voted for the LDF, it would be inappropriate to dub them as religious fundamentalists.

Mr. Vijayan said the byelection results eloquently indicated that the UDF Government had failed to tackle the problems posed by communal elements `despite following a policy of communal appeasement.'

Minorities support

He was also happy that in the latest elections, the minorities had shown that they were rapidly shedding their `false fears' and `hostilities' towards the CPI(M).

He underscored his contention that the UDF had contested the byelections with the support of the BJP and the RSS, yet the LDF candidates triumphed.

A BJP leader had admitted in Delhi at his party meeting that his party had been diverting votes in elections and underlined the need to avoid such strategies in the future.

`Weakened Congress'

Though he said the NC(I) had more supporters than the Congress in Koothuparamba and Azhikode, Mr. Vijayan made it clear his party had not held talks with Mr. Karunakaran's new party. It was for the LDF to decide if the NC(I) should be admitted into the front. But he felt the emergence of the National Congress `had done a good thing — it had weakened the Congress.'

The CPI(M) leader also took strong exception to the Government decision to procure paddy only from those societies that were registered with the State Civil Supplies Corporation.

He said it was unfair to place such restrictions and demanded paddy procurement be made from all societies since all of them were already registered with the Government.

While answering questions, Mr. Vijayan said he was aware that women had not been given representation in the newly reconstituted CPI(M) State secretariat but declined to talk more on the matter.

He said one more seat remained to be filled and that a new secretary would have to be found for CPI(M)'s Kozhikode district unit since the incumbent V. V. Dakshinamoorthy had been made a member of the State secretariat.

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