PALAKKAD: Now, this may sound quite interesting. Contrary to its earlier stand of throwing its weight behind Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls, the CPM has now decided to campaign intensively against Rahul in Wayanad and party general secretary Sitaram Yechury will also go on the offensive against the Congress chief.
Amid this war of words between the CPM and the Congress in the state over Rahul’s decision to paratroop to the southern hill district of Wayanad, it is camaraderie at its peak between the two parties in adjacent Coimbatore district just across the border where CPM candidate PR Natarajan of the DMK-Congress-Left alliance takes on CP Radhakrishnan of the BJP.
The editorial by the CPM mouthpiece ‘Desabhimani’, which was critical of Rahul and the calling of names in Kerala which was retracted later, and the talk of defeating the Gandhi scion from Wayanad by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will all sound hollow once anyone drives a few kilometres from Walayar into Coimbatore.
“The alliance is working towards the victory of the CPM candidate. Senior leaders of the Congress are yet to visit the constituency. DMK leader Alagiri is expected to arrive on April 7,” said TNCC state working president Mayura Jayakumar. “There is good response locally. No senior Congress leader from outside has come to address rallies on my behalf. However, local Congress leaders are campaigning for my victory. DMK leader MK Stalin will be addressing a public meeting in the evening at Coimbatore,” said Natarajan.
In spite of the fact the parliamentary elections in Tamil Nadu is on April 18, there are very little posters or graffiti compared to Kerala. The posters of political parties pasted on the walls of the elevated Coimbatore - Palakkad highway NH 544 have all been torn or removed by the personnel of the Election Department. Moreover, the wall writings in public places have also been whitewashed.
“The defacement officials of the Election Commission were strict. They have completely removed posters, hoardings and whitewashed the walls to remove the graffiti. Even the banners were removed after the public meetings,” said Selvan who runs a tea shop adjacent to the Amritha Vidyalaya in K G Chavadi, a few kilometres away from Walayar in Tamil Nadu.
“The alliance in Tamil Nadu and the public posturing of differences between the two political parties will not be accepted by the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.Both the CPM, CPI and the Congress have the same candidate as Prime Minister in Rahul which now stands exposed,” said P R Nandakumar, Coimbatore district president of the BJP.
Cong, CPM leaders in same poster
The posters put up for the public meeting of Stalin in Coimbatore on Wednesday carries the photographs of both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul along with the photograph of the CPM candidate and also the hammer and sickle symbol.