Bengaluru: It is the season of political rallies in Kerala and the Congress doesn’t want to be seen missing in the action.
The party launched a rally across the state titled ‘Padayorukam’ (battle preparation) on Wednesday after the latest shows of strength by the two other parties of the land, the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
While the BJP rally failed to do live up to its initial hype and was riddled with controversies, the CPM rally turned controversial after the party chief Kodiyeri Balakrishnan hired for the rally a car whose owner allegedly faces money laundering charges.
The Congress rally, the party said, is “to highlight anti-people policies of both state and central government”. It will pass through all 14 districts in Kerala before ending in the capital city, Thiruvananthapuram, on 1 December, and is supposed to be attended by senior Congress leaders such as former prime minister Manmohan Singh, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.
Setting the mood, former chief minister and Congress’ topmost leader in Kerala, A K Antony, inaugurated the rally in Kazargode district by attacking both the CPM-led state government and the BJP-led union government.
He criticised the demonetisation of high-value banknotes and the implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) by the Centre, and said the CPM government in Kerala was silently helping the BJP to grow in Kerala.
The Congress campaign precedes the release next week of the full version of a judicial commission report on an investigation of bribery and sexual assault charges against former chief minister and the face of the Congress in Kerala, Oommen Chandy, in what is known as the ‘solar scam’.
This story was originally published in livemint