Cong complains against Thomas Isaac over Kudumbashree campaign materials

CPM leader Thomas Isaac; the Kudumbashree pamphlet that is in circulation. Photo: Special Arrangement

Pathanamthitta: The Congress has filed a complaint against the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha constituency, T M Thomas Isaac, alleging that he has misused Kudumbashree, a government institution, for his election campaign.

District Congress Committee president Satheesh Kochuparambil, who is also the chief election agent of United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate Anto Antony has filed a complaint with the district collector, who is also the presiding officer of the constituency.

The complaint states that Isaac's campaign material, titled "Ennum Kudumbashreekkoppam" (With Kudumbashree, Always), has been widely distributed in the constituency. The material, copies of which have been attached with the complaint, lists Isaac’s role in the formation and development of Kudumbashree, a wide network of women’s self-help groups in Kerala.

Founded in 1997, Kudumbashree is a poverty alleviation and women empowerment programme. Isaac was the chairman of the committee that founded the Kudumbashree movement under the then E K Nayanar-led Left government.

The pamphlet also lists the special projects Isaac has promised Kudumbashree as part of his election promises. It also features photos of Isaac at various programmes of Kudumbashree. The pamphlet states that “Kudumbashree workers are proud to take up the works to ensure the victory of Isaac.” It is issued in the name of 11 women, including Health Minister Veena George, without mentioning their designations.

The UDF in its complaint alleges that the materials do not mention where they were printed or how many copies were printed. One copy attached with the complaint shows that it has been issued by the LDF’s election committee and 20,000 copies were printed. The petition alleges that the matter was printed on newspaper pages also.

“It is understood that no permission has been obtained to print such material. Even if permission has been granted, it is against election norms to get a nod for it by misusing government machinery,” the petition states, seeking action against the candidate.

Isaac was earlier warned by the election authorities after he attended government programmes during campaigning. Isaac is pitted against Congress’ sitting MP Anto Antony and BJP’s Anil Antony. 

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