Congress only choice for the country: PM

Congress only choice for the country: PM

Congress only choice for the country: PM

 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the Congress party was the only choice for the country to battle the “divisive” designs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

He was addressing a rally in Kochi during the election campaign for K V Thomas, the Congress candidate from Ernakulam.

Highlighting the “tolerant, pluralistic and secular” record of Kerala, the prime minister said a party like the BJP did not have a place in the state where the Left parties were also out of tune with the times.

“The Left parties don’t include the realities of today in their policies and lead to a slowdown of development,” he said. Singh also slammed the culture of political violence in the state and maintained that the Congress was a default choice to take the BJP on at the Centre.

Singh countered criticism over alleged inaction against corruption and said political opponents who were being vocal about corruption had not co-operated in law-making intended to check corruption. Detailing achievements in economic growth, the prime minister said the 10 years of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule at the Centre had seen the country undergo a “huge transformation” and witness impressive growth despite the challenges of a global economic crisis.

“I have to mention these achievements because amid the din of electioneering, propaganda by some political parties could mislead people,” he said at the event attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V M Sudheeran.

Kasturirangan report

Asserting the UPA government’s commitment to infrastructure development in Kerala, Singh assured that people’s interests would be protected while implementing the K Kasturirangan panel report on conservation in the Western Ghats.

“We will decide on the recommendations made by the Kasturirangan panel keeping in view the development needs of Kerala. The genuine interests of farmers and other inhabitants in the Ghats will be fully protected. The government of Kerala has taken steps to ensure that… I urge you to not believe false propaganda in this connection,” he said.

The Kasturirangan report has emerged as a key election issue in the high-range areas. Singh’s assurance comes a day after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi made a similar announcement in Idukki.