Pinarayi should quit: Congress

Says UDF win a victory for secular forces

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should accept responsibility for the Left Democratic Front’s massive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections and resign, the Congress has said.

Addressing a press conference along with Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala and party leader Oommen Chandy here on Thursday afternoon, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]-led government in the State had lost the right to remain in power and should quit at the earliest.

Historic win

Mr. Ramachandran said the historic win for the Congress and its allies was a victory for secular forces. The United Democratic Front (UDF) win was a judgment on the five-year “fascist” rule of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

The strident opposition to the LDF government in the State was also reflected in the poll results. The “politics of violence” of the CPI(M) and Mr. Vijayan’s “arrogance” influenced the outcome.

The government’s handling of the floods and the Sabarimala issue had turned the sentiments of the people against it. The people also realised that the BJP’s stance on the Sabarimala issue was a betrayal of their emotions. For the first time ever, both the minority and majority communities had enthusiastically supported the UDF, Mr. Ramachandran said.

Mr. Chennithala said Mr. Vijayan had lost the moral right to remain in power and should seek a fresh mandate. The election results were a reflection of the unhappiness with the CPI(M)’s politics of violence and “anti-people” policies. The sentiment in the State against the Modi government and the Rahul wave in the State had contributed to the UDF win.

The LDF had never suffered such a defeat. Mr. Vijayan, he said, was the Communist party’s Gorbachev. The Chief Minister and other Polit Bureau members were responsible for sabotaging CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s demand for forming a secular alliance with the Congress solely because of his opposition to the Congress. He had played no mean role in handing over such a huge win to the Modi government, Mr. Chennithala alleged.

National sentiment

The Congress, he said, was not happy at such an outcome. However, the Congress was optimistic that the State’s opposition to the BJP-led Modi government would become a national sentiment.

There was a propaganda that the BJP would rack up its first win in the State this time, but the people had ensured that it would not happen and the party would not take root here, he said.

Mr. Chandy said the UDF had swept elections before but what was unprecedented the winning margins of its candidates. The UDF’s emphatic victory was an endorsement of its programmes. Its stance on the Sabarimala issue and politics of violence were ridiculed by both the CPI(M) and the BJP, but the UDF win was an answer to it. The UDF would always be with the people, he said.

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