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Kerala assembly by-poll campaigns end with a ‘war of words’

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Thiruvananthapuram: The 39-day campaign for Saturday’s by-poll in the Aruvikara assembly constituency reached a crescendo on Thursday, the last day of campaign, with the top leaders of the rival political fronts engaged in a war of words.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy  told reporters in the constituency  that the Left opposition has nothing new to say and during the entire campaign it has been just repeating what it has been saying on the solar scam and the bar scam.

“The people of the state have rejected both these allegations as there is no evidence to support these allegations…when the results come, the Left opposition candidate will end up in the third place,” said Chandy.

The Congress has fielded K.A. Sabarinathan, son of late speaker G. Karthikeyan, who represented this constituency for 24 years before passing away in March this year.

The CPI-M has fielded former speaker and minister, M. Vijayakumar, while the BJP has fielded 85-year-old  O. Rajagopal.

CPI-M politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, whose behind the curtains activities and poll campaign management drew heavy flak from the Congress,  onThursday finally broke his silence and slammed the Chandy government.

“The Chandy government will be given a fitting lesson by the electorate at Aruvikara…,” said Vijayan.

State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran told reporters on Thursday that the days are numbered for Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan.

Incidentally, Chandy has already gone on record that the outcome of the polls would be a referendum on his four years in office and that it would be the same for the Left opposition also.

“They even today are interested in instilling fear in the minds of the people as was evident when early this month an explosion in a ‘bomb making unit of the party’ in Kannur saw two of their members die and three of their party members getting arrested,” Chandy said.

Her added: “We have gone to the people of Aruvikara with our agenda of ‘development and care’ and we will win the poll.”

(IANS)

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Kerala Government Decides to Revise The List of Women Who Prayed at Sabarimala

The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media

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Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.

A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.

The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.

State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.

State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.

Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.

Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.

Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.

It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.

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The list of 51 women is not part of an affidavit but only referred to by the state government counsel in his arguments. Soon the list was highlighted in the media.

“This goof-up reveals the abject failure of the way Vijayan is running the state,” said state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.  (IANS)