Thiruvananthapuram, April 5: Every vote for the CPI-M in Kerala would end up helping the BJP when it comes to the big electoral picture. This was Congress star campaigner Rahul Gandhi’s main thrust during his campaign blitz here Saturday.
The Congress vice president went hammer and tongs at the Community Party of India-Marxist during his whirlwind tour stretching from the north to the southern end of the state.
“The CPI-M has no role in national politics, so a vote here for the CPI-M means it would be helping the Bharatiya Janata Party,” Gandhi said at his first public meeting at Kasargode in north Kerala.
At his next campaigning pit-stop in the hilly district of Idukki, Gandhi assured the residents – who fear that the K. Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats would hit as many as 123 villages in the district – that not a single person will be affected.
“The Congress is one party that understands the needs of the people and there is no need to fear about any problems on account of the Kasturirangan report,” he said.
At his third venue in central Kerala’s Chengannur, he said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has delivered what it had promised and it would continue to work for the uplift of the poor and downtrodden.
Touching down at his fourth venue – the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency in the capital district – close to sunset, Gandhi attacked both the CPI-M and the BJP, claiming they were two sides of the same coin.
“Both parties are trying to gain power using violence. We gave the people Right to Education, Right to Food and Right to Information. The next UPA government will assure Right to Health and Right to a Job,” the Congress leader said.
One of the highlights of Gandhi’s visit was the huge number of women who had turned up at his meetings, which has encouraged the party’s state leadership.
State leaders believe that if this success was the measure of response to the party’s first star campaigner, then subsequent meetings involving Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi which are to follow, would receive an even better response.
Kerala, which goes to the polls April 10, sends 20 members to the lower house of parliament. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, the Congress led-United Development Front had 16 members, while the Left opposition had just four.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has already thrown a challenge to the opposition, claiming that the party would better its last performance and would add at least one more win to its kitty.