Rahul launches Congress poll campaign in Kerala, attacks LDFMarch 5th, 2009 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, March 5 (IANS) Launching the Congress’ election campaign in Kerala, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi Thursday said the state’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) had failed to utilise the central government’s developmental help.
Addressing a mammoth meeting on the Shangumukam beach here, Gandhi said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has given Rs.400 billion (Rs.40,000 crore) to the state in the last five years.
“Even though our party doesn’t rule the state, the central government has launched a lot of programmes for the state. But the Left government here has not been able to do anything.
“Don’t you know that the state government is deep in corruption? There is infighting in the government,” Gandhi said.
He added the law and order situation in the state was worrisome and unemployment was rising.
He asked Congress leaders in Kerala to work out a programme to help a large number of Keralites who work in the Middle East.
“We all know that a huge number of people from here work hard in various Middle East countries and now they are facing problems because of the economic downturn. We should help them and come out with solutions,” said Gandhi.
It appears that Gandhi on his first visit to the state in a political capacity has won the hearts of many. Top Congress leaders like Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi praised the young MP.
“The Congress party in the state is really lucky that the election campaign has been officially launched by Rahul Gandhi,” Antony said.
“This is perhaps for the first time in history of general elections that there is no anti-centre feeling in Kerala,” he added.
State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala noted that the party could not win any of 17 seats, out of Kerala’s 20 Lok Sabha seats, that it contested in 2004. “With a little hard work by all of you, I am confident that we can win all the 20 seats this time,” he added.