Rahul an 'Amul baby', says Kerala CM Achuthanandan

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Sunday hit back at Rahul Gandhi for his jibe at the CPM stalwart on his age, calling him an "Amul baby".

Achuthanandan also countered Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his criticism that the Left rule had done serious damage to Kerala and West Bengal, asking him not to speak with "hangover of a former IMF officer".

"Rahul Gandhi is an Amul baby. He has come to Kerala to campaign for Amul babies," Achuthanandan said in Palakkad while addressing election rallies.

Taking a dig at 87-year-old Achutanandan, Gandhi (40), projected as the youth face of the Congress, had said at a campaign meeting in the state on Saturday that if LDF was re-elected, Kerala would have a 93-year-old as Chief Minister in five years time.

Responding to the jibe, Achuthanandan said he began his political career as a 16-year-old and, quoting a Malayalam poem, said he had spent his youth without bowing before the "vassals of the corrupt order."

Countering the Prime Minister's criticism that the Left rule had done serious damage to Kerala and West Bengal, the old CPM warhorse said Singh should not have talked with the "hangover of a former IMF officer."

"Singh's claim that Centre had generously supported Kerala sounded like the Americans' claim in the past that they had been providing food items for school children in India," he said.

"It was part of the federal system that part of the taxes collected from the states were devolved on them. It was by glossing over this principle that the Prime Minister was making such claims at meetings", he said.

While some UPA partners indulged in corruption, Singh was saying he was helpless, Achuthanandan said.

It was on account of the "massive" corruption under UPA rule that Gandhian Anna Hazare launched his campaign demanding an effective Lokpal bill, he said.

Achuthanandan said Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who came to canvass for UDF candidates, also used the opportunity to hurl charges at LDF which were far from true.

"She had claimed that it was UPA's policies that stopped farmers' suicides in Kerala. Then how come that Congress governments in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra could not stop farmers' suicides in those states?" he asked.

Pranab Mukherjee on 'Amul baby' comment

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday snubbed Achutanandan for his comment describing Rahul Gandhi as an 'Amul baby'.

"I do not react on uncivilised comments. It speaks of the individual taste of the person," Mukherjee said at a meet-the-press programme in Kolkata.
More News