Both Kerala fronts confident of victory in bypoll

Thiruvananthapuram, June 24 (IANS) With just a day left for the election campaign to end at for the Aruvikara by-election in the capital district, both of Kerala’s rival fronts – the ruling UDF and the LDF – are confident of victory.

Aruvikara goes to the polls on Saturday.

Asked by reporters on Wednesday on the United Democratic Front’s chances, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said: “I stand by what I said even before I went to Aruvikara for the campaign.” He earlier this month had predicted that Congress candidate K.A.Sabarinathan, the son of late speaker G.Karthikeyan, will win hands down.

As reporters persisted on his impression about the poll campaign, Chandy said: “I have already said, I stand by what I said. The effect of the liquor ban is quite visible among the women electorate in Aruvikara as these days you see very less number of (drunk) people lying on the road.

“Even as a section are airing baseless allegations against us with the help of some media, the people at Aruvikara are with us.” said Chandy.

Former defence minister A.K.Antony, who is conducting his road show, said that the victory of the Congress candidate will set the ball rolling for the beginning of the return of the present Kerala government at the assembly election due next year, breaking the jinx that no government has been able to retain power after a five year stint.

Asked to comment on veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist leader V.S.Achuthanandan’s statements, Antony said they “stoop so low that neither the Congress nor the UDF leaders can reply to it.”

Achuthanandan, who was also equally confident of the Left Democratic Front’s victory, hit back by saying that Antony has no moral right to speak as it was under his nose that the UPA government indulged in various corrupt deals which was in excess of Rs 800 lakh crores.

“Both Antony and (state Congress chief) V.M.Sudheeran should not forget that the people of Aruvikara are getting ready to ensure that they show the exit door to the most corrupt government of Chandy when they will elect (CPI-M’s) M.Vijayakumar by a huge margin,” he told reporters here.


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