Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy is confident that the United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance he is heading is poised to win in the May 16 election.
“Our government’s motto has been development and care and we have showed the people that both can be done at the same time in Kerala,” Chandy told the Hindustan Times at the Government Guest House, Kozhikode.
“One of the main reasons why we were able to complete our term in office, despite a slender majority, was the confidence the people had in us. In these five years we have not lost even one by-election.”
On Monday, as a part of his second phase of the state-wide election campaigning, Chandy toured at least eight constituencies in and around Kozhikode, in the north of Kerala.
Stressing on the unity among UDF alliance partners, Chandy said, “I respect every minister and never try to bypass anyone. That’s the reason why there’s been no corruption and seat-sharing among alliance partners was easy.” Most of the constituencies Chandy visited on Monday were that of coalition partners Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
The two-time chief minister, who is known to be soft-spoken, was aggressive. At several rallies during the day, Chandy said that the Left was spreading lies — he was particularly critical of Opposition leader and CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan and Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) politburo member. Chandy said that if Achuthanandan did not withdraw his statements he would take legal action for spreading falsehood about his government and him. “I generally do not react to baseless allegations against me.
But now, since it is election time, I have to set the record straight because these falsehoods affect the other 139 UDF candidates as well,” Chandy told Hindustan Times at the Government Guest House, Kozhikode. Achuthanandan had recently said that there were 136 corruption cases against UDF ministers and 31 cases against Chandy in the Supreme Court.
Countering Vijayan’s allegations that there was a tacit understanding between the Congress and the BJP, Chandy said, “In 1977, it was Left leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan who joined hands with the Jan Sangh to fight the Congress. These Left leaders also sided with the BJP to oppose the Congress on the nuclear deal.” Speaking at the Calicut Press Club he also said that, “Recently, in Bihar, the Left that fielded candidates against the JD(U)-RJD-Congress Grand Alliance to split the anti-communal votes—thereby helping the BJP”.
Chandy will be campaigning in Kasargod in the north end of the state on Tuesday.