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    LDF resents EC ban on rice at Rs 2 per kg

    Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling LDF in Kerala on Thursday accused Congress-led UDF of having conspired to sabotage the government's decision to extend the rice at Rs two per kg scheme to cover 40 lakh families in the wake of the EC order banning its implementation.

    The LDF state committee meeting here, presided over by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, passed a resolution resenting the EC decision and resolved to organise protests across the state on March 14.

    Briefing reporters after the meeting, Front Convener Vaikom Viswam said election dates were announced on March 1 whereas the scheme came into force on February 25 itself.

    The EC before intimating the government its decision to ban the scheme choose to inform the media about it and shortly after that, Opposition leader Oommen Chandy wanted a ban on the scheme. "This indicated that UDF conspired to sabotage the scheme," Viswam said.

    The EC on March 7 banned implementation of the government decision on Feb 23 to extend the scheme to 40 lakh families including those belonging to above poverty line category in view of the model code of conduct which went into force with announcement of Assembly elections in the state.

    On Front's seat-sharing talks, Viswam said it would be finalised at the LDF's next state committee meeting on March 14.The Front's manifesto also would be given final touches on that day, he said.

    On the question of who would lead the LDF in the polls, he said all Front leaders together would lead it in the election. Asked whether Achuthanandan would contest the polls, Viswam said CPI-M had not taken a decision on any of its candidates.