In Kerala's bipolar politics dominated by the Left and Congress-led alliances, AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy has said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls are a direct fight between the Congress and BJP, and that there was no truth in the state CPI (M) claim that the two parties were hand-in-glove against the Left alliance in Kerala.
The state votes on April 23 to elect 20 Lok Sabha members.
Chandy was speaking to the media on Friday at the election campaign meeting of Congress leader K. Sudhakaran, who is pitted against sitting member and CPI (M) leader P.K. Sreemathi in the Kannur Lok Sabha seat, a CPI (M) bastion. In the 2014 polls, Sreemathi had defeated then incumbent Sudhakaran.
"It's surprising that CPI (M) leaders, especially its state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, have been saying that the Congress and BJP here are hand-in-glove. But the truth, which is known to even a child, is that the electoral battle is between the Congress and BJP," said Chandy.
Chandy said "baseless theories" were being propagated by the CPI (M) because "their leaders want to divert the attention of the people from the appalling performance of the Pinarayi Vijayan government".
"I challenge Pinarayi to declare that the present polls would be fought on the basis of of the performance of his government. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, I had said that the polls would assess his performance in office. When the results came, we got more seats than the opposition. Pinarayi does not have anything to claim and hence the CPI (M) is diverting attention," said Chandy, who is the biggest star campaigner for the Congress-led UDF.
The BJP is yet to open its account in Kerala. The party's best performance was witnessed in 2014 at the Thiruvananthapuram seat when it finished a close second, while it came a poor third in all other constituencies.