Kerala has never witnessed a more vitriolic campaign full of sleaze, personal barbs and mud-slinging. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) partners seem to be in a race to discredit opponents by resurrecting sex scandals and graft charges.
Politicians have little time to debate real issues like development and unemployment (the state has the highest rate in the country).
Outgoing CM VS Achuthanandan has vowed to jail some opposition leaders, and his opponents want to tear apart his crusader tag.
The latest in the series of exposes is the ‘irregular appointment’ of the CM’s son VA Arun Kumar to a government position. Citing replies obtained under the RTI Act, Congress-backed NGO Higher Education Protection Council has released documents stating that Kumar was appointed as the additional director of the Institute of Human Resources Development overlooking more deserving candidates. But Achuthanandan and his son have dismissed the charges.
To counter the CM’s ice-cream barbs (a reference to the two-decade old sex scandal in which Muslim League leader PK Kuhalikutty has been implicated), the UDF is raising the Sasi issue in a big way.
“When Kuhalikutty’s estranged kin raised allegations against him, a case was registered. Sasi had raised more serious charges against the CM accusing him of trying to influence the trial in a hooch tragedy case. Why was the CM not booked?” asked Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Ramesh Chennithala. The CPI(M) recently removed Kannur district secretary P Sasi over sexual harassment charges.
UDF workers are also distributing copies of a book by Achuthanandan’s former secretary KM Shajehan, which alleges the CM could have persecuted sex offenders earlier, but he timed the charges with elections.