Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) will register a comfortable victory in the Lok Sabha elections in Kerala, asserted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Monday. Referring to the exit poll results which suggested a sweep by the Congerss-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state, Pinarayi said that such polls have often proved to be misleading.
“During the 2004 Parliament elections, exit polls had predicted a win for the BJP-led NDA. However it was the Congress-led UPA that came to power,” pointed out the chief minister.
All exit polls, barring one, have predicted that the CPM-led LDF is going to take a severe beating in the southern state, with around five of the total 20 seats. The predicted numbers are down from the eight seats the party has at present.
Addressing the media on his return after visiting several countries, Pinarayi quipped that speaking about the outcome of the elections now was untimely.
According to Pinarayi, the developments related to the Sabarimala temple had no impact on the polls. “Everybody knows who were behind the untoward incidents at the hill shrine. Now those people have developed differences between them,” he said.
“A young woman connected to the Hindutwa organisations herself has revealed that the aim of the Sabarimala agitation was certainly not the preservation of tradition,” added the chief minister.
“The government has always taken measures to protect the shrine. At present, development works are being carried out in an efficient manner. During the next pilgrim season, a new Sabarimala with much more facilities would await devotees,” explained Pinarayi.
KIIFB masala bond
Regarding the KIIFB masala bond, the chief minister said that transparency had been ensured in the procedures. “The allegations raised by the opposition leader regarding lack of transparency are baseless. Moreover, suggesting a Lavalin link to the affair only indicates prejudice,” opined Pinarayi.
“This is similar to raising Nirav Modi’s name if somebody avails a loan from State Bank of India,” he said.
Funds are being collected by issuing KIIFB masala bonds at a low interest rate. “The loans taken by other states carry a higher interest rate,” revealed Pinarayi.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Tom Jose said that masala bonds carry 9.723 % interest. “Initially, it was planned to issue bonds in India. However, the quotation we received was for an interest rate of 10.25 %. That made us seek funds from abroad,” he said.
According to Pinarayi, his foreign tour would help attract investments to the state.