Kottayam: A K Antony was a rare mix of emotion and aggression on Friday as he addressed his first election rally for Congress candidate Chandy Oommen in the bypoll-bound Puthuppally assembly constituency.
Antony said he had only one wish – “The people’s court of Puthuppally should punish those who insulted and witch-hunted Oommen Chandy when he was alive.”
He also urged the people of Puthuppally to make sure that Chandy Oommen wins by a margin that should shock “those who hurt Oommen Chandy”.
“Can Puthuppally’s people of conscience forget the insults Oommen Chandy had to suffer. The people of Puthuppally should not forgive the CPM,” Antony said.
The Congress Working Committee member, considered the political guru of Oommen Chandy, made the election rally an occasion to address almost all the allegations raised by the rival CPM-led Left front against the Congress in Puthuppally.
In an evident reply to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s attempts to make the plummeting rubber price a major poll issue in the agrarian constituency, Antony asked why the CPM-led government was not implementing its 2021 election promise that it would make a procurement price of Rs 250 per kg for the commercial crop. Vijayan, in his poll speeches in Puthuppally, had blamed the previous Congress-led UPA governments at the Centre for the dip in the rubber price.
Antony said the youth of Kerala migrating to foreign countries as the state government has failed to keep its promise to make 20 lakh jobs.
He also took on the LDF’s aggressive campaigning in Puthuppally that Oommen Chandy had failed utterly to bring in development in the constituency despite being its MLA for 53 years.
“I know Puthuppally since when I was four. I used to go to my maternal grandparent’s house through here. Then since 1964 I was with Oommen Chandy. Whatever development this place has got, only Oommen Chandy is responsible for all that,” he said.
He said he did not have a bosom friend like Oommen Chandy. “Nor will I ever have a friend like him again,” the 83-year-old former chief minister said.
Earlier in the day, he visited the tomb of Oommen Chandy at the St George Orthodox Church at Puthuppally along with Chandy Oommen.
“I asked Antony uncle if he would light a candle at my father’s tomb. He agreed to do so. Then he said he has lit a candle only at his mother’s tomb before,” Chandy Oommen said addressing the meet.
Congress leaders Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan MLA, Kodikkunnil Suresh M and Mathew Kuzhalnadan MLA, RSP’s N K Premachandran MP and CPM’s C P John were among those who addressed the election rally.
The bypoll, necessitated with the death of Oommen Chandy, will take place on September 5. The votes will be counted on September 8.