BJP state general secretary K Surendran, who was at the forefront of the party’s agitation against the entry of women into Sabarimala shrine and jailed for about three weeks, is the NDA candidate in Pathanamthitta. Though his candidature was a bit delayed, BJP-NDA workers are upbeat over his entry. In an interview to Express Special Correspondent PT Mohanan Pillai, Surendran exuded confidence that the voters, who have lost faith in both the UDF and LDF, will elect a BJP-NDA candidate with a comfortable margin. Excerpts:
Q. Do you think the welfare schemes adopted by the Modi Government will get translated into votes? Will the 2019 elections be a game-changer for the NDA in state?
A. The Narendra Modi government has launched several programmes for the overall welfare of the people, including farmers. Employment schemes and Mudra loan for small and medium businesses launched by the government will ensure us more votes. The April election will be a breakthrough for the BJP and NDA. The party will be banking on the achievements of Modi government, particularly the welfare programmes for the marginalised and poor sections of society.
Q. What are the key electoral issues you are going to raise?
A. The state government has hurt the sentiments of crores of Sabarimala devotees. Apart from this, the government’s failure in handling the August floods, and the lack of development programmes in the constituency will be the important issues to be raised before the people of the constituency. The state government has failed to implement Centre’s various programmes in the proper manner owing to political reasons.
Q. How do you think the people in the constituency view your candidature?
A. The response among the devotees on the Sabarimala agitation will be the important issue to be raised before the people. The failure of the state government in the rehabilitation of thousands of families who lost everything in the August floods will be the other issue to be raised before the people.