Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the coming local body polls will mark the collapse of strongholds of the opposition Congress-led United Democratic front and 'drown' the hopes of BJP in the state. Vijayan, who was campaigning for candidates in North Kerala, said people would not forget the performance of the Left government duringthe two consecutive floods, cyclone Ockhi, Nipah virus outbreak and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Left democratic Front will win this local body election by a historicmargin. The UDF strongholds will collapse and the hopes of the BJP in Kerala will drown with the election results," Vijayan said in a statement later.
Five southern districts-Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathnamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki- will go for the polls on Tuesday. The chief minister also said that people would brush aside the 'fake propaganda' of Opposition parties and the 'right wing' media against the Left government.
"People have felt the involvement of the Left government in their lives. We seek votes based on our development activities.. The COVID-19 treatment is completely free of cost in the state. We had arranged community kitchens during the national lockdown," Vijayan said.
He said the UDF, which kickstarted its election campaign with the motto 'Vote against corruption', had to withdraw it later after one of its MLAs was arrested and another placed under remand in corruption cases. "A serious allegation has been raised against the Leader of the Opposition himself. The UDF is collapsing like the Palarivattom overbridge," Vijayan said.
His reference to the bridge was the one in Kochi, which has been closed for traffic since May this year after cracks and potholes surfaced within three years of its commissioning. It is now being rebuilt.
IUML MLA M C Kammaruddin is under arrest in a jewellery scam case while former PWD minister and UDF leader V K Ibrahim Kunju is under remand for alleged corruption in the overbridge construction. Vijayan also lashed out at the BJP, alleging that it was was exploiting various investigation agencies and was indulging in"communal aspects" for campaigning.
"At most places BJP has not fielded any candidate for the election, but is openly supporting the UDF candidate. Kerala has a legacy of fighting the infamous Congress- League-BJP team and the same will repeat this time," he said.
The second phase of the elections in Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad will be held on December 10 and the third phase in four districts- Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod on December 14. Counting will be held on December 16.