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Sonia mounts indirect attack on CPI-M

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Mar 4 (UNI) Mounting an indirect attack on the CPI(M)-led Left Front in Kerala, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today kicked off the party's assembly election campaign with a call to the voters to ''reject the politics of obstruction, violence and false propaganda practised by (the Congress') political opponents.'' Addressing a mammoth crowd of Congress workers at the Kaloor Stadium here this evening, Mrs Gandhi, in her 20-minute speech, did not mention the Left Front even once, but left no one guessing that the subject of her attack was the UPA ally at the Centre.

''I had said at the Hyderabad plenary that while we are working with some parties at the Centre, in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura, we are opponents. The Congress will work unitedly to ensure that it is elected back to power in this state,'' she added.

Taking another pot-shot at the Left, she said that the majority of the welfare schemes being implemented by the UPA Government were part of the Congress manifesto of 2004. ''I am saying this as some parties are trying to take credit for the work that we are doing.

Most of the work that is being done is part of the Congress manifesto,'' she added.

Asserting that the Congress did not believe in sloganeering but in hard work, Mrs Gandhi accused the Left Front of practising the politics of ''obstruction, violence, gherao, slogans and false propaganda by which serious issues are trivialised.'' A vote for the UDF in the next month's assembly elections would be a vote in favour of the continued economic growth and social peace and harmony in Kerala, she added.

Reeling out a list of developmental initiatives taken by the UPA Government, Mrs Gandhi said these included the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the act against domestic violence, another on the right to information and one introduced on preventing communal violence.

A separate ministry for minority affairs and the national commission for minorities education had been set up to give impetus to professional education of minorities, she added.

Claiming that the Congress alone represented all sections of society, Mrs Gandhi said that the party did not exclude anyone and included all citizens of the country to give full equality of opportunity to all.

In Kerala also, despite the opposition's efforts to put up obstructions at every step, the UDF Government had implemented several developmental schemes including making the state an IT destination, opening more professional medical and engineering colleges, expanding tourism and launching the 'Akshaya' programme for universal e-literacy.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Minister Vayalar Ravi, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, former chief Minister A K Antony and AICC in-charge of Kerala Veerappa Moily also addressed the gathering.

UNI ARC APA YA RK2218

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