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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

UDF will face voters' resentment, says VS

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said in the Assembly on Wednesday that the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) would face the resentment of voters in the upcoming local body elections due to the steep increase in prices of petroleum products.

Replying to a debate on the demand for grants for Heads of State, Ministers and Headquarters Staff, the Chief Minister said the increased strength of the Opposition in the Assembly was not going to benefit it in the elections. The hike in prices of petrol and diesel would accelerate price rise and hit the common man.

Referring to his statement that communalism was growing among minorities in the State, the Chief Minister clarified that he had not meant that all members of minority communities were turning communal. His criticism was against those who had read pastoral letters (orienting people communally) and those who had held secret talks with extremist organisations such as Jamaat-e-Islami.

He said the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) had held nine rounds of discussions with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Refuting Opposition criticism about the amount spent on advertising by the government on the occasion of its fourth anniversary, Mr. Achuthanandan said the State had not spent even a fraction of what the Centre and other States were spending on advertisements.

The government had been able to end suicides of farmers and extended health insurance and rice at Rs.2 a kg to more than 35 lakh families. Closed plantations and factories had been opened. The procurement price of paddy was increased by Rs.5 a kg over the past four years, and production of paddy went up. After the Chief Minister's reply, the House voted the demands for grants amounting to Rs.177.03 crore.

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