After much deliberation, the Congress has decided to field veteran leader K Muraleedharan in Vadakara to take on LDF heavyweight P Jayarajan. In an exclusive chat with Special Correspondent Arun Lakshman, Muraleedharan said as a loyal party worker he will abide by the party’s command. Excerpts:
Q:You are a sitting MLA from Vattiyoorkavu. Why did you chose to contest Lok Sabha polls from Vadakara?
A: I am a loyal foot soldier of the party. So when the party asked me to contest the Lok Sabha election, naturally I decided to abide by it. Party leadership, including KPCC president, asked me to contest the elections and there’s no reason for me to opt out of the contest.
Q: Even though KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran won the last two terms, Vadakara is considered a CPM bastion. What are your chances in the constituency?
A: I don’t think the party will encounter much opposition in Vadakara. Earlier, I was considered for Wayanad seat, but I opted out as I knew it would be a cakewalk for us. However, when the party asked me to contest from Vadakara, I thought it’s a challenging assignment.
After the party announced my candidature, I have been receiving calls from across the constituency. From the response I have been receiving I find that this will also be an easy victory for the UDF. I expect to emulate Mullappally’s first victory in 2009, when he won the seat with a margin of 56,000 votes.
Q: Are you familiar with the constituency?
A: My father hails from Edakkad near Thalassery and we have family roots here. I was in-charge of the Kannur DCC when I was a KPCC office-bearer and later when I became party state president I have been to Vadakara many times for party work. I can say with confidence that I am closely associated with the constituency.
Q: Jayarajan has alleged an unholy nexus between Congress, IUML and BJP that resulted in you being named from Vadakara. What’s your response?
A: I don’t know the basis of Jayarajan’s allegations. May be he has already surrendered the seat or may be he wanted to raise the campaign pitch. But one thing is clear... throughout my political carrier, I have never entered into any relationship with the RSS or any Sangh parivar groups. I won the Assembly election from Vattiyoorkavu constituency defeating a senior BJP leader.
Q: What are the main issues you will raise in this election?
A: A major issue will be stable government at the Centre. Only Congress can provide that.
We will also raise the issue of political killings and unabated violence that have resulted in the loss of many lives in the region. Many people were killed, many were maimed for life.
As a political leader and a people’s representative, I decry such barbarity in the name of politics. This is an age of development and instead of focusing on development, the Left government is promoting violence which will not make us a modern progressive state.