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Moment of truth for parties as campaigning ends in Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram: Campaigning for the 16th Lok Sabha election ended in Kerala on Tuesday evening with party supporters converging in different town and city centres in a final round of sloganeering, speechmaking and noisy celebrations.

Kerala's voters will go to the polling booth on Thursday. The time for campaigning was extended by an hour to 6pm on Tuesday, considering that polling time was also extended by an hour to 6pm on Thursday. Campaigning is normally stopped 48 hours before the end of scheduled polling time.

In the final round of politicking, the ruling United Democratic Front and Left Democratic Front leaders threw punches and counterpunches at each other. Federal defence minister A.K. Antony said there was "no anti-incumbency sentiment against the Kerala government".

He said to vote for the CPM would be "a wasted exercise", and exhorted the people to vote for the UDF to "defeat communal forces".

Antony said Kerala was yet to recover from the shock of the killing of rebel communist leader T.P. Chandrasekharan.

If the Left had apologised for the incident, people may perhaps have forgiven them. Instead, they have been trying to justify their stand, Antony said.

Communist Party of India Marxist state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said home minister Ramesh Chennithala ought to resign in the backdrop of revelations that he had links to international smuggler Fayaz.

"Fayaz was the financial source for Congress. Is there nothing that KPCC president V.M. Sudheeran, who is known as a man of idealism, has to say about that?" Pinarayi asked.

Chennithala said he was open to the Central Bureau of Investigation inquiring into the CPM's allegations that he had links to Fazyaz. He said the picture showing himself and M.M. Hassan with Fayaz was 12 years old and that there was a conspiracy in releasing that photo 48 hours before the polling day.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 9, 2014
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