CPI(M)-Congress spar intensifies


Rahul’s candidature from the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] and Congress leaders in the State went into a fiery confrontation mode over AICC president Rahul Gandhi’s contest from the Wayanad seat in the April 23 Lok Sabha election.

The CPI(M) charge was led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who continued to lash out at Mr. Gandhi, trying to corner him for entering the fray from Wayanad. Maintaining that Mr. Gandhi’s contest conveyed a wrong message, Mr. Vijayan wondered what point Mr. Gandhi was trying to make by contesting in a constituency where the BJP was not in the fray.

“Mr. Gandhi is condescending by stating that he will not utter a word against the CPI(M). What does he have to say against the CPI(M) or compare it with his own party?” he asked. He demarcated the policies of the CPI(M) and Congress, equating the latter with the BJP when it came to economic issues.

The Congress cannot form a government which accepted the alternative line put forward by the CPI(M) because the BJP and the Congress had the same stand on economic reforms, he said at a function at Ranni in Pathanamthitta.

The CPI(M)’s strategy was clearly to corner Mr. Gandhi with his own words and utilise his discomfiture at confronting the party. The two parties were traditional foes in Kerala, irrespective of the course that the national politics had taken in recent years. The Congress leaders had hit back at the CPI(M) with equal intensity, utilising the CPI(M)’s attack against Mr. Gandhi to fine tune its own anti-Marxist plank.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the CPI(M)’s State unit did not have the ground to attack the Congress president since it was the prime accused in sabotaging a national alternative against the BJP. Addressing a function in Kozhikode, Mr. Chennithala said it was enough for Congress leaders in Kerala to reply to the CPI(M)’s lamentations.

Senior Congress leaders firmly believed that the CPI(M)’s attempts to generate animosity against Mr. Gandhi would not have a long run in electioneering. As far as the Congress party was concerned, it was working towards emerging as the largest single party with a majority to form a government at the Centre. “Mr. Gandhi’s presence in Wayanad will certainly help us win the maximum seats possible,’’ he said.


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