PALAKKAD: The agrarian constituency of Palakkad with its teeming workforce has always been a Left bastion and the Opposition UDF and the NDA have been going all-out in its bid to upstage the CPM. “One of the main issues in Palakkad Municipality is the removal of the garbage which has accumulated in households and on the streets for the last 45 days.
As sitting MP, MB Rajesh should have initiated talks with the CPM-ruled Kodumbu panchayat where he resides. Just for the sake of 500 votes in Kodumbu panchayat, several lakh residents of the Municipality are being held to ransom.
Rajesh had initiated talks with the private bus operators on behalf of the traders when the buses failed to enter the municipal stand. The garbage issue is a serious problem and why are the BJP and the CPM leaders silent? says M N Anwarudheen, an ENT surgeon and social worker. He said even in Brahmapuram in Kochi where a major fire broke out, the dumping of garbage resumed within a few days. In Palakkad, the fire broke out on February 19 and still the issue is far from settled.
However, LDF candidate Rajesh rebuts the charges. “The BJP- ruled municipality has failed to implement nine out of the 10 promises made to Kodumbu panchayat. They have not installed CCTVs for security purposes,” he says. “I have distributed report card to all households and I am seeking votes on the basis of my performance,” he says.
NDA candidate Krishnakumar, who is vice-chairman of the municipality, said there were three security guards on 24-hour duty at the dumping yard. LDF is claiming credit for all Central projects like the IIT, widening of the highway and the AMRUT project for which Rs 225 crore was sanctioned by the Centre. But the voters will see through this.
“One of the main trends noticed was that the middle class and upper middle class who used to vote for the Congress have gravitated towards the BJP. This is evident from the interactions we had with the people. UDF candidate VK Sreekantan is one of the few leaders who can energise the redundant Congress machinery. As far as Ottappalam is concerned, if one is to rate the grassroots’ enthusiasm, the CPM will stand out,” said Rajasekharan Nair, VTB College, Sreekrishnapuramformer faculty member.
“The proposal for a Railway medical college has been hanging fire. Also, the Vallathol Nagar railway station can be developed,”said M Unnikrishnan, Nila Catering Services, Shoranur chairman. “The industries in Kanjikode had initially suffered due to demonetisation and GST. The political parties need to rein in their unions,” said Revindran, Kanjikode Industries Forum former president.
UDF candidate VK Sreekantan said, “ Rajesh garnered votes last time in the name of the coach factory and put up flex boards. Now, the Centre says they do not need new coaches. Both the Centre and the state government have duped the voters. Rising unemployment and hurting Sabarimala sentiments have gone against the LDF.”