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ON THE MARCH: The CPI(M) Polit Bureau member V.S. Achuthanandan handing over the party flag to State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan to mark the beginning of the party's Kerala March at Manjeswaram in Kasaragod on Sunday.
MANJESWARAM: A `Kerala March' being led by Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, highlighting the slogan `Comprehensive development and social justice,' was flagged off by party Polit Bureau member and Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan at a function here on Sunday in the presence of a huge turnout of party workers.
Inaugurating the march by handing over the party flag to Mr. Vijayan, Mr. Achuthanandan said that the march would expose the failures of the United Democratic Front (UDF) Government in all sectors in the State over the last four-and-a-half years. The State's development had been obstructed during these years, he said adding that the plight of farmers has worsened due to the policies of the Government.
Mr. Achuthanandan said that the UDF Government had left over 20 lakh farmers in distress during the period, which had seen an increase in cases of suicide by farmers. Wrong agricultural policies were driving the farmers to commit suicide, he added.
Equally disastrous were the Government's policies with regard to the traditional sectors in the State. Handloom, beedi and other traditional sectors were in ruin. Over the last four-and-a-half years, the State's debt had grown to Rs.51,000 crores, he said.
If the Government had set apart Rs.1,000 crores from this debt amount for the agriculture sector, the farmers would not have been pushed to commit suicide, he said adding that Rs.500 crores would have saved traditional sectors from collapse, Mr. Achuthanandan said.
Mr. Achuthanandan said that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated, as the Government was not able to give protection to people's lives and property. Women had become easy preys in the State, as mafia gangs remained at large.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Vijayan said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the UDF `alliance' had now become public with the BJP national leadership giving its nod for such a concord to defeat the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the State. Though UDF leaders, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, were publicly repudiating the BJP's support, the UDF would go to any extend to garner a few votes, he said. None of these adjustments and tactics would save the UDF from collapse, Mr. Vijayan said.
Dwelling on the development slogan of the march, the CPI(M) State secretary said that the march was to strengthen the process of the State's development. The UDF's allegation that the LDF had created hurdles in the way of the State's development was an excuse, he said calling on the UDF to say specifically which development project had been torpedoed by the LDF.
Party leaders Paloli Mohammed Kutty, P.K. Gurudasan, M.C. Josephine, A.K. Balan, Elamaram Kareem and Anathalavattom Anandan, who are team members of the march, T.M. Isaac Thomas, MLA, and P. Karunakaran, MP, were also present at the function.
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