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Congress workers not to take opponents lightly

Written by: Staff

Kochi, Mar 5: Congress president Sonia Gandhi today exhorted the party MLAs not to take their political opponents lightly and work zealously to translate the workers' enthusiasm into electoral success in the next month's assembly elections in Kerala.

In a 15-minute address to the Congress parliamentary party members here this morning, Mrs Gandhi described as a ''very good sign'' the enthusiasm of the workers, reflected in the party rally here last evening.

Mrs Gandhi, who had mounted an indirect attack on the CPI(M)-led Left Front during the rally, today urged the workers not to take their opponents lightly.

Stating that the rally reflected the workers' self-confidence, Mrs Gandhi urged the party MLAs to harness this enthusiasm into a good election campaign.

At the same time, they should not take their opponents lightly, she added.

Exhorting the workers to focus on a development agenda for the state, Mrs Gandhi assured that she will take up with the central government the state's grievances regarding the raw deal to Kerala in the Railway budget.

Speaking on behalf of the MLAs, Mr Aryadan Mohammad urged the central leadership to take into consideration the workers' sentiments before taking any decision on Kerala.

Fortysix of the party's 53 MLAs were present at the meeting, which was presided over by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Also present were KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, CWC member A K Antony, AICC Kerala in-charge Veerappa Moily and union minister Vayalar Ravi.

Later, Mrs Gandhi also addressed a meeting of the PCC office-bearers and DCC presidents.

She also had separate meetings with the leaders of the students, youth and women wings of the party and the government employees and farmers cells.

While the women's wing of the Congress demanded that 20 per cent of the party tickets for the assembly elections be given to women, the state Youth Congress (I) representatives asked that one-third of the candidates be new faces.


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