As the poll campaign hots up, TN Prathapan, the UDF candidate in the Thrissur seat, is conducting a power-packed campaign for his maiden LS polls. With his unique style of establishing a personal relationship with whomsoever he comes across, Prathapan is confident that people in Thrissur will vote for change. Excerpts from his chat with Express reporter Gopika Varrier.
Q. How do you view Rahul Gandhi’s nomination from Wayanad?
A: Rahul Gandhi’s candidature has already sparked the Congress workers across the state and even the neighbouring states. It will definitely have a great impact. I am sure the UDF will win maximum seats.
Q: In the last 16 Lok Sabha elections, Thrissur favoured the Left 10 times. Your take?
A: From the interactions we have had, what people are concerned about is the danger to the secular credentials of the nation. The BJP-NDA Government destroyed the social and economic aspects and this will reflect on the outcome.
Q: How will your stint as MLA aid you in the LS poll?
A: I have maintained a close relationship with people during the 15 years as an MLA. I don’t have any additional educational qualifications. But I care for the people irrespective of their religion, politics or social status.
Q: Sabarimala issue, Church Bill have been the major issues in the election year. Your views?
These are matters concerning devotees/ faithful. I am a person who believe in God. I visit Guruvayur temple every month. I visit Velankanni church and offer prayers at Sabarimala. I also undertake the Ramadan fasting. In my opinion, government and political parties should not get involved in the matters of religion, especially by hurting them.
Q: If you are elected MP, what all issues will you focus on?
A: As a parliamentarian, the focus should definitely be on parliamentary affairs and intervention on social issues through it. As an MP, I will also see to it the constituency derives the maximum benefit of Central projects.