Fronts play up growth question

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They blame each other for ‘backwardness’ of Pathanamthitta at poll debate

At the Poll Debate-2019 organised by the Pathanamthitta Press Club here on Monday, A.P. Jayan, Babu George, and Shaji R. Nair, leaders of the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party respectively, traded charges against each other for the backwardness of the district. The three warring fronts also staked claims for whatever development Pathanamthitta have witnessed in the past decade.

District Congress Committee president Babu George said the United Democratic Front (UDF) would be happy to assess the development initiatives of the sitting MP, Anto Antony, in the constituency during the past 10 years. The MP launched a number of basic infrastructure projects and schemes with Central support, he claimed.

Mr. George said it was not right on the part of the LDF candidate and the Aranmula MLA, Veena George, to stake claim for projects sanctioned at the initiative of her predecessor, K. Sivadasan Nair, for the simple reason that they had been completed during the LDF rule.

The proposed Kozhencherry bridge and the recently commissioned Anjilimoottilkadvu bridge across the Pampa river were the pet projects of the previous UDF government. The local MLA’s contribution was that she could delay many projects by including them in the KIIFB scheme, he alleged.

Mr. George alleged that the much-hyped paddy cultivation revival in Aranmula Puncha was a failure and the Aranmula rice had disappeared from the market soon after its launch. The hapless poor families who were taken to the Aranmula puncha for pitching tents in the name of the anti-airport stir had been left in the lurch, Mr. George alleged.

CPI charge

CPI district secretary A.P. Jayan said the people of Kerala had acknowledged the development policy of the LDF government.

He said the LDF had fielded Ms. George, a sitting MLA, in Pathanamthitta with 100% confidence in her calibre and in recognition of her development initiatives as an MLA.

The State witnessed tremendous development in the agriculture sector during the past three years, he added.

Mr. Jayan alleged that Mr. Antony’s contribution as the MP in Pathanamthitta was absolutely nil and he was a total failure in bringing any development in the fields of railways, tourism, agriculture, and industries, he alleged.

BJP district president Shaji R. Nair accused both the LDF and the UDF of taking an indifferent attitude towards the development of the district, especially when it came to various projects sanctioned by the Centre.

Mr. Nair alleged that the sitting MP had miserably failed in utilising various schemes of the Centre in the fields of tourism and agriculture.

Biju Kurien and Biju Mohan, Press Club office-bearers, also spoke.

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