BJP wearing a 'mask', CPI(M) Rip Van Winkle, says Antony

BJP wearing a 'mask', CPI(M) Rip Van Winkle, says Antony

Lashing out at the Narendra Modi government, senior Congress leader A K Antony today said its one year rule had brought only hardships to the common man even as he described the CPI(M) as 'Rip Van Winkle'.

Inaugurating the UDF convention rally of K S Sabarinath, the Congress candidate for the June 27 bypoll from here, Antony said BJP government at the Centre was wearing a 'mask'.

"Its one year in office has seen prices of petrol, diesel, essential commodities and train fares skyrocketing. Life of common people has been badly affected due to price rise. Only the big corporates have been benefitted by this government," he said.

Describing the CPI(M) as 'Rip Wan Winkle', an American fictional character who went to the mountains to escape his nagging wife and ended up sleeping for 20 years, the former Defence Minister said "I am saddened that CPI(M) is a party which it was 50 years ago. It has not changed."
"Now Kerala has changed, the society is changing, the CPI(M), however, is not able to understand that," he said.

Kerala wants 'politics of development' while the marxist party was 'vikasana virodhi' (against development) and had protested against computers, he said.

"Politics of violence will no longer hold good. Times have changed," he said, referring to violence unleashed allegedly by CPI-M in northern Kannur district in the past.

The political climate was conducive for Congress-led UDF, Antony said, giving 'A Plus' and the first place to the Oommen Chandy government, which, he said, was for development with a human face. No other state can compete with Kerala, he added.

"The state government is giving pension to various categories of persons like widows, help for treatment, this government is for development and for the youngsters."
"The assembly segment, comprising farmers, tribals and poor sections, have all been hit by the increasing prices caused by the Modi government," he said.

Pointing out that Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, during his recent visit to the state, had promised to look into the problems of rubber farmers, Antony said the issues being faced by farmers would be taken up by Congress.

"If UDF rules for another five years, Kerala will be a number one state in India in all spheres," he said, adding, "there is need for continuity of governance. Aruvikkara election is the first round," he said.

Assembly polls are due in Kerala next year.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC President V M Sudheeran, coalition front leaders, K M Mani, P K Kunhalikutty and M P Veerendra Kumar, were among those present.

Aruvikkara is witnessing a triangular contest, with LDF putting up former speaker, M Vijaykumar (CPI-M) and BJP fielding former union minister, O Rajagopal.

The bypoll was necessitated following the death of former assembly speaker, G Karthikeyan, whose son, Sabarinath, is the Congress candidate in the election.

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