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'No Togadia in Kerala'

Chief Minister A K Antony said that VHP leader Praveen Togadia would not be allowed to set foot in the state before the May 10 polls.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Thiruvananthapuram
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2004 08:17 PM IST

Describing BJP as basically 'not secular', Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony on Thursday said that the ruling party at the centre was 'allowing Togadias and Modis to rule the roost' with their extremist positions.

"Togadia was not allowed to visit Kerala as he had violated state police force' directives last time. "His speech at Marad in Kozhikode, where communal clashes claimed nine lives last year, was provocative. He will not be allowed to set foot in Kerala before the May 10 Lok Sabha elections," he said, addressing the a press conference organised by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists.

Antony said that the BJP was 'encouraging' Togadias, while coming out with a softer stance on public issues to 'fool' the electorate. It was in the country's interests to ensure that the Congress-led front got a majority in the Lok Sabha poll.

He said the CPI-M, which stood against all reforms being carried out by the UDF government, had lost its relevance as a political party in Kerala. "There will be a tough fight between LDF and UDF in the state and the BJP can't realise its dream of making it to the Lok Sabha."

He said no political party in Kerala would have the guts to say that they did not need the support of community based organisations, who had been doing tremendous work in cultural, educational and health sectors in the past few decades.

Antony said the elections would be tough this time for the Congress on account of the infighting in the party. Party workers were slowly getting back to work to ensure the victory of its candidates, forgetting the fight between leaders for the last one year, he said.

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