THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With less than a month remaining for the Lok Sabha election, the UDF threw an open challenge before the ruling Left Front Government. Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has challenged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to openly declare whether the Lok Sabha poll results would be a referendum on his government.
Referring to the Opposition challenges towards his government when he was in power, Chandy asked, “Whichever government is in power, irrespective of the nature of election, it would be termed as a referendum on the performance of the ruling government. It was the same when three by-elections were held during my tenure. The Left kept on asking whether the elections would be a referendum on my government. Now, I’m asking them the same and urging them to take up the same challenge,” a confident Chandy told Express.
He pointed out the Left candidates in the poll fray have been seeking votes in the name of the so-called governance and administrative achievements of the current Pinarayi-led state government. So, naturally, it should reflect in the elections too. “Let the Chief Minister openly declare the election results would be the people’s assessment on his two-and-a-half year-old government’s performance,” Chandy said, throwing the ball into Pinarayi Vijayan’s court.
Ever since the election campaign started in the state, Chandy has been taking potshots at the Left front and the CPM leadership. Both the LDF and the UDF have accused each other of having a hidden understanding with the saffron party. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan alleged the UDF has joined hands with both the RSS and the SDPI and he even challenged Oommen Chandy to openly declare the UDF does not want RSS votes.
The open war of words reached another level when Chandy hinted at Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s likely candidature from the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency. A host of left leaders, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, came out against the move saying it could send out a wrong message for the joint opposition move at the national level.
“We thought a decision on Rahul’s candidature would come out soon. Now that time period is over, and we feel soon there will be a decision in this regard,” said Chandy when asked about the delay in announcing Rahul’s candidature. Meanwhile, the UDF allies are not happy about the undue
delay from the part of the Congress leadership in announcing the candidates for Vadakara and Wayanad constituencies.