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Ban exit polls:Kerala Minister

By Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 4 (UNI) Kerala Revenue Minister K M Mani today asked the Election Commission to ban all exit polls and surveys as it influenced the elections.

He alleged that the exit poll and election survey had boosted the prospects of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) by 15 per cent while adversely affecting the UDF.

But the UDF had overcome all these and would retain power in the state with a huge margin, he claimed. ''The exit polls have in a way influenced a section of the voters in many constituencies,'' Mr Mani said.

Mr Mani who is also the leader of the Kerala Congress (M) claimed that the Congress-led UDF would return to power with a comfortable majority as there was no sign of anti-incumbency factor He said ''the people will vote for the UDF's development agenda and will surely defeat the Marxists who are against any development in the state.'' He also alleged that the Left Democratic Front had fought the elections not ''politically'' but had used the ''communal card''.The Left had deviated from its earlier policiies and sought the support of the People's Democratic Party(PDP),Jamaat-e-Islamia, the RSS and the BJP in this election. ''Earlier they had strong opposition to these groups,'' he added. In Malampuzha, where CPI(M) polit bureau member V S Achutanandan was contesting, the BJP was silent in its campaign, he said.

Mr Mani called the CPI(M) a ''divided house'' and it is difficult for a divided house to go together,'' he alleged.

UNI PN MSJ KP1655

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