As part of their election campaigning, the UDF has started their much-touted ‘Aishwarya Kerala Yatra’ led by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala from Manjeshwaram, and inaugurated by senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
In his inaugural speech, Oommen Chandy said that Ramesh Chennithala has been able to push the left government into a defensive stance by bringing out their corruption, one by one. “UDF government was an age of development and care, while the LDF government was an age of violent politics and murder,” he said
Speaking at the ceremony, Ramesh said, “The people of Kerala must not prepare themselves to give Pinarayi Vijayan a second chance, as his office has become a fort for illegal activities in the state,” adding that the LDF government has turned into a mafia. He mentioned that the LDF government has been successfully implementing a scientific way of conducting corruption. “The CPM had played spoilt sport in many developmental projects in Kerala, including the GAIL project, and they began completing them while they were in power. The left government has not been able to complete one project on their own.”
However, the popular target at the event was LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan, who the senior leaders of the UDF accused of being islamophobic. “The LDF is creating an enmity between Christians and Muslims, and we are trying to uphold the secular character of the state,” Ramesh said.
It follows the LDF convenor’s earlier claims that the UDF is trying to create a communal polarisation by “allying with communal parties” including the IUML. “The LDF is trying to create enmity between the Indian Union Muslim League and the Congress. Why is Vijayaraghavan following the same tactic as that of BJP’s?” asks PK Kunhalikutty. He added that the state government is using central agencies in old cases to target the opposition ahead of the elections. Moreover, UDF convenor MM Hassan had asked whether Vijayaraghavan is the convenor for the Hindu front.
Ahead of the procession, the Opposition Leader visited Malik Ibnu Dinar Masjid in Kasargod, interacting with Masjid Khateeb Hakeem Majid Bakavi among others. “Visited and offered my prayers at the 1,300-year-old Malik Dinar mosque. The culture and religious sentiments of the land of seven languages is largely dependent on its religious monuments,” he had said. Following which he also visited the iconic Good Shepherd Church and the Edneer Matam. “It is one of the prime centres disseminating the teachings of Sankaracharya Swami. Sought blessings from Matt's head Sri Sachithanatha Bharathi,” he added.
The 23-day long procession will reach Thiruvananthapuram on February 22 after moving through all the constituencies. Senior Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi will inaugurate the concluding rally in Thiruvananthapuram.