Kochi (Kerala) [India], May 22 (ANI): VD Satheesan who was appointed Saturday as Leader of the Opposition in Kerala expressed his gratefulness to the Congress high command and said that the first priority of his party is to put an end to the growth of communal forces in Kerala.
"This is a decision taken by the Congress' high command. I am very grateful to the Congress President and Rahul Gandhi for giving me such an opportunity at this critical juncture of the UDF and Congress party in Kerala," Satheesan said.
"We received a great setback in the last assembly elections. So the entire Congressmen and the UDF men are demanding a change for the generation shift...Members of the Congress Legislative Party CLP and the members from Kerala and UDF leaders also demanded a change," he further said.
The new opposition leader clarified, " We are not accusing the present leadership. We are expecting assistance and blessings from the present leadership also. But this is a challenging position. We have to change the entire workers of the UDF who are demoralised. Then we have to give them hope, confidence...We can come back like thunder and lightning."
"Our first agenda, our first priority is not to win the election but to finish the communalism in Kerala. Kerala is a progressive state. I think 95 per cent of the Kerala people are secular. But some forces, especially the Sangh Parivar are trying to communalise the entire Kerala society. So our first priority is to prevent the communalisation of Kerala society. So we are fighting, we are planning to fight with the communal forces. We will finish them in Kerala," Satheesan said.
"Winning the election is only the second priority. That we are very hopeful, we are very confident and there is a second leadership in the Congress party also. Very dynamic the young leadership, potential leadership in the Congress party. With the help and the blessings of the senior leaders, we hope we can create wonders in Kerala and our organisation," he added.
Satheesan, an MLA from Paravoor constituency in Ernakulam district, has been elected to Kerala Assembly five times in a row since 2001. He is also an advocate in the Kerala High Court.
Ramesh Chennithala, the former opposition leader of Kerala, extended his best wishes to Satheeshan. Earlier on Thursday, Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor Arif Mohammad Khan for a second term in office at a function in Thiruvananthapuram.
This is Vijayan's second consecutive term in office as the LDF won the polls again breaking a four-decade pattern of power shifting between it and the UDF alternately. (ANI)