With an eye on assembly elections in Kerala, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi mounted an attack on the Communist Party of India-Marxist in its stronghold, accusing it of indulging in "politics of violence" on Monday.
"The CPI-M should end its politics of violence and Youth Congress workers should not get provoked by attempts by that party at a time when elections to civic bodies and the state Assembly are drawing closer," he said during his day-long tour of the state.
"Communism has either collapsed or changed itself world over, while in Kerala and West Bengal they are pursuing outdated ideologies and programmes", Gandhi said.
He told Youth Congress workers that even people from China were asking if India still had the old brand of Communism in states like Kerala and West Bengal.
Gandhi's visit to Kasargode, Kalpetta in Wayanad and Kollam coincided with the start of Youth Congress organisational elections in the state.
While asking the ruling the CPI-M to end its "politics of violence", he told Youth Congress workers not to get provoked by violent methods by the CPI-M cadre when polls to civic bodies and the state assembly elections were drawing closer.
Assembly elections are scheduled in May next year, while the civic polls will be held by the end of this year.
Gandhi, who is actively involved in the Youth Congress elections across the country, said the "days of nominations are over in the youth wing where genuine and competent workers would be elected to positions in a democratic and transparent manner."
While freedom of expression would not be curtailed in a democratic party like the Congress and its feeder outfits, the menace of groupism would not be tolerated, he warned.
It was to end factional trends that the polls from grassroot level upwards were being held, he said.
Countering the Left Democratic Front government's claim of successful implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme in Kerala, he claimed it was being implemented in a commendable manner only in Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
In a major state like Uttar Pradesh, the scheme was not even being carried out while it was not properly implemented in many other states, he said.
When a Youth Congress worker asked him at Kasargode who he thought were the enemies of development in Kerala, Gandhi said, "I don't search for enemies, I only search for friends."
In Wayanad, half of the Youth Congress workers present at the convention were from tribal communities, with whom Gandhi interacted to understand their specific problems.
Winding up his tour of Kollam in South Kerala, Gandhi reached out and shook hands and waved at the people who waited to cheer him at the helipad.In Kasargode, he also met relatives of victims of political violence in north Kerala before returning to Delhi from Thiruvananthapuram.