Congress support base in Kerala intact: Minister

Thiruvananthapuram, April 27 (IANS) The support base of the Congress in Kerala was intact and the party would return to power in the state, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said on Wednesday.

Addressing reporters here, Chennithala said: “Contrary to reports, there have been no fissures in our traditional vote bank and our support base remains intact and we will return with ease to power again.”

Chennithala was responding to queries on reports that there was a general impression that the Muslim community was slowly shifting from the UDF to the Left Democratic Front, while the BJP was getting stronger.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) over the years has always received a major chunk of the minority community votes.

When the minority vote banks — comprising Christians and Muslims — are combined, they come close to the majority Hindu community in terms of numbers.

As per census figures, of the 3.34 crore people in Kerala, Hindus constitute 1.82 crore (88.03 lakh males and 94.79 lakh females), followed by Muslims with 88.73 lakh (41.76 lakh males and 46.97 lakh females) and Christians with 61.41 lakh (29.93 lakh males and 31.47 lakh females).

“The people of Kerala are quite aware that peace of mind will disappear if the CPI-M gets voted to power because they have seen how the majority section in the CPI-M are engaged in eliminating their rivals in their own party. They will do the same to the people of Kerala who stand against them,” said Chennithala.

He slammed the manner in which two top CPI-M leaders — former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan — continue to have difference of opinion on many issues.

Chennithala denied that there was all-round corruption in the state under the present Oommen Chandy-led UDF government.

“A section of the media and the CPI-M are engaged in spreading canards against the UDF.

“The leader is Achuthanandan who is saying baseless things. He said there are 136 cases of corruption against Chandy and his cabinet ministers.

“I am going to take legal steps against his statement that there are cases against me. Since I am the minister for home and vigilance, if there is even one case against me as he says, then I would have resigned,” said Chennithala.

Kerala will go to the polls on May 16 to elect a new 140-member assembly.



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