THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress working committee member and former Chief Minister AK Antony’s campaign at Pala has increased the electoral prospects of the UDF candidate in the constituency manifold. Antony who addressed a mammoth gathering at Pala attacked both the CPM and BJP and accused them of hypocrisy and also raked up the Sabarimala issue.
The senior Congress leader also evoked the memories of the late K M Mani and the period they had shared together as cabinet colleagues. Antony being a shrewd politician touched upon the emotional connect Mani had with the people of Pala and the development he had initiated in the constituency and the lack of development under the Left front government in the state and the failure of the NDA government at the Centre.
The former union minister is the trump card of the UDF and they have marketed him properly with AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy, KCC president Mullappally Ramachandran and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala doing the groundwork among the party cadre, sympathisers and supporters. “CPM was trying to bank upon the previous encounters of Mani C Kappan and the narrow margin with which he had lost to K M Mani in the 2016 election. The CPM in Pala is without its true colours and even the party flag and other paraphernalia are missing from the campaign of the Left candidate but Antony converted this into a political battle by raking up issues against both LDF and NDA,” Kerala Congress leader and former MLA, Stephen George told Express.
UDF leadership has also emerged successful in bringing together both PJ Joseph and Jose K Mani together at Antony’s public programme. The UDF candidate Jose Tom Pulikkunnel had visited P J Jospeh recently at his residence and requested him to attend the campaign.
Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikutty, along with KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, had also played a pivotal role to pacify Joseph and bring him back to the fold.