Kochi, April 6: Policies of the Left were responsible for both slowdown in growth and the decline in the popularity of the parties across India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Sunday.
“You (Kerala residents) have experienced the Left government here. Their major problem is that they are unable to change their policies with changing times. Their policies slow down growth,” Manmohan Singh said at a rally.
The prime minister said the Left was voted out of Kerala and in West Bengal because of these wrong policies.
“People understand that Left dogmas have to change and unless they decide to change, their decline will continue,” he said.
Manmohan Singh arrived here in the coastal town Sunday afternoon, where his cabinet colleague K.V. Thomas is taking on former Indian Administrative Service officer Christy Fernandes, an independent candidate backed by the Left.
Fernandes was secretary to former president Pratibha Patil.
Manmohan Singh also said that in a pluralistic society like Kerala, a “divisive” party like the Bharatiya Janata Party had no place.
“Politics of violence adopted by our adversaries has been most condemnable. Kerala will not tolerate this. And with the Left parties unable to do anything, it’s only the Congress that can stop the BJP,” the prime minister said.
On his party’s performance, Manmohan Singh said that in the past one decade, the Congress-led government has invested more than Rs.70,000 crore in various projects across Kerala.
“Kerala has always been dear to us in Delhi and we have always been considerate to the needs and demands of the state,” he said.
The prime minister also said he was most fortunate to lead India for the past decade and said the country scaled new heights during the period.
“I have worked with honesty and commitment and I am happy that the growth India has achieved in this period was much higher than what the country achieved since independence. At the time of elections, it’s quite natural for others to mislead,” he said.
Stating that even though the Congress-led government has been accused of corruption, “no other government has taken a strong stand against corruption like we have”.
“We have also booked people who have indulged in it. The Right To Information is the biggest weapon to find out how the government works. Some parties did not help us when we came out with policies to curb corruption,” he said.
Kerala goes to the polls April 10 to elect 20 members to the Lok Sabha.