Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10: Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday exhorted Congress leaders in Kerala to shed their differences and fight the coming assembly polls unitedly even as party leaders in the state asked the party Vice President not to have any truck with the CPI(M) in West Bengal.
The demand to keep CPI(M) at bay was made at the KPCC Executive meeting, attended by Gandhi and all senior leaders with speakers terming the Left party as "undependable" and accusing it of pursuing politics of violence.
However, Gandhi in his speech did not touch on the subject but sent a clear signal to party workers and leaders to end infighting and bickering in the state unit. CPI-M leaders in West Bengal have been pushing for a tie-up with Congress to oust the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC while the Pradesh Congress leaders are divided over the issue
Gandhi asked the Congress leaders in Kerala to fight the coming assembly polls shedding their differences and said it was "not the time to fight" amongst themselves. Expressing confidence that the UDF would retain power in the state, which is also going to polls along with West Bengal, Gandhi said there was only one thing -- "CPI(M) cannot defeat Congress, Congress can defeat Congress party".
Gandhi said, "Senior leaders in the state are exceptionally talented. What one does not have, others have. They together are much more powerful than alone. They have their strength and weaknesses. They have to stay together.
"Once elections are over, they are more than welcome to fight. But now, it is not the time to fight. Now, it is the time to be together," he said.
The Congress leader said, "For one or two months, hold hands and join together" and let Congress rule return to the state in the coming assembly polls.
KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Vice-President M M Hassan in their speeches attacked CPI(M), which they charged follows a policy if politics of violence. Sudheeran also reminded Congress leaders about the "insincerity" of CPI-M in Bihar polls, where they formed a third front to fight the Grand alliance and divided the 'secular' votes.
"That actually enabled BJP to win some of the seats," he said. Hassan requested Gandhi not to have any tie up with CPI-M and said "CPI-M is a undependable party".
"Their fight against Communalism is not sincere" he said alleging that "CPI-M is a party of opportunists."
Those who attended the meeting included former Defence Minister and CWC Member A K Antony, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, PCC President V M Sudheeran and AICC General Secretary in-charge of Kerala Mukul Wasnik.