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Only a Left-backed government can provide a secular dispensation: Palakkad LDF candidate

B Rajesh is leaving no stone unturned as he goes about meeting the electorate seeking votes and posing for selfies in the sweltering 41 degrees Celsius.

Published: 28th March 2019 03:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th March 2019 11:48 AM   |  A+A-

A girl carried by her mother receiving LDF candidate M B Rajesh MP with golden shower tree flowers during a campaign reception at Palattupadi in Palakkad

A girl carried by her mother receiving LDF candidate M B Rajesh MP with golden shower tree flowers during a campaign reception at Palattupadi in Palakkad.| Express

Express News Service

B Rajesh, who represents the CPM in the Parliament and on TV debates with consummate ease and elan with his oratory skills, is the LDF candidate in Palakkad. He is leaving no stone unturned as he goes about meeting the electorate seeking votes and posing for selfies in the sweltering 41 degrees Celsius. In an interview by A Satish, Express Special Correspondent, Rajesh says only a government with a decisive LDF influence can provide a secular dispensation and roll out welfare-oriented policies. Excerpts:

Q. You have been the MP of Palakkad for the past 10 years. On what plank do you expect the voters to elect you for a third term?

A. The main issue is to defeat Narendra Modi and that is the political part. The development part is the other plank. Two free dialysis centres were opened in the constituency. A total of 33,000 free dialyses are done daily. People come from even the neighbouring towns of Malappuram and Thrissur to make use of this facility. Annually, the cost of these dialyses will work out to Rs 6.6 crore. You cannot find them in Varanasi or Amethi. Some of the prominent development work projects, totalling 450, are: early cancer detection centre, distribution of tricycles, new Passport Seva Kendra at Olavakkode by finding local sponsors, open gymnasium, etc.

Q. The BJP always says both the LDF and the UDF were supporting the same candidate as the Prime Minister. It is a friendly contest, and in the process, the electorate is taken for a ride.

A. The LDF has not stated Rahul Gandhi will be the next Prime Minister. It will be decided only after the elections. We are seeking votes stating there should be a government at the Centre as in 2004. (LDF won 18 of the 20 seats). Only a government with a decisive LDF influence can provide a secular dispensation and roll out welfare-oriented policies.

Q. How do you view the fielding of Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad constituency? The Congress says it will buoy up the sentiments from Kasargod to Palakkad LS segments.

A. In fact, it will have the reverse effect. Rahul will only be considered a person who deserted his home turf fearing defeat. The flight of Rahul southwards only points to a lack of confidence and weakness. Therefore, the presence of Rahul will be beneficial to the Opposition parties.

Q. The surveys point to the fact that Sabarimala will be the key issue in the minds of the people and the LDF Government is inept in handling the issue.

 A. In this constituency, people are leading a hand-to-mouth existence. They are not concerned about Sabarimala. The MNREGS workers are yet to get their wages which have been outstanding for the past six months. The LDF Government has even released the pension due for the month of April. When wage due from the Centre are yet to be received by the workers in an environment of rising prices of fuel, where do they have time to rack their brains over Sabarimala?

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Q. How do you rate the UPA II Government and the NDA Government? How much did Kerala comparatively benefit from the largesse of these two governments?

A. As Arun Shourie rightly put it, the NDA Government has been the UPA II Government plus the cow. But now with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath jailing people who killed a cow, even that thin line of differentiation is beginning to disappear. Now, Yogi Adityanath of UP and Kamal Nath of MP have become the birds of the same feather. The economic policies of both the governments are one and the same. Kerala has got a raw deal from both the governments. Despite eight ministers from Kerala in the UPA II Government, the IIT and coach factory remained a distant dream.

Q. How will the Left MPs like you be different from other parties?

A. I can only assure that Left MPs, especially me, will not be a part of resort politics of the BJP. Whether it is in Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and even in the Palakkad municipality, the elected representatives of the Congress were defecting to the BJP in droves.

Q. Finally, on the IIT spat between you and the BJP.

A. Though five IITs were sanctioned by the Centre, since the LDF Government provided land and infrastructural facilities, the first transit campus of the IIT came up in Palakkad. Amit Shah had said in Palakkad that since the state government did not provide land, development projects in Kerala were on hold. It is a bundle of lies. The LDF Government has given 435 acres for the IIT and also land for the coach factory.



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