INTERVIEW| BJP will emerge as decisive political force after Kerala polls: Kummanam Rajasekharan

 Kummanam, who is the NDA candidate in Nemom, said senior Congress leader K Muraleedharan's candidature in the constituency will have no impact as he lacks people’s trust
Ex-Mizoram Governor and Kerala BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan (Photo | BP Deepu, EPS)
Ex-Mizoram Governor and Kerala BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan (Photo | BP Deepu, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Right from the beginning, former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan had been the unanimous choice as candidate in the BJP's lone and most prestigious seat Nemom.

In an exclusive interview to The New Indian Express shortly after he was declared the candidate, he said Congress leader K Muraleedharan's candidature in Nemom will have no impact as he lacks people’s trust. He said the BJP will emerge as a decisive force after the assembly elections and many parties from other alliances will enter the NDA fold and work under a Common Minimum Programme. 

The Excerpts:

Q. Nemom is the most prestigious seat of the BJP. How do you view your prospects in the constituency?

A: My candidature is the result of the trust that the people of Nemom and the party has reposed in me. I am not a newcomer to this seat as Nemom is one of the assembly segments which make up the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency from where I contested the previous election.  Nemom had given me a lead of 12,000 votes over my rival. 

Q: Congress has fielded a heavyweight candidate K Muraleedharan against you. How do you view his candidature?

A: K Muraleedharan’s candidature will have no impact in Nemom. He lacks people’s trust. He had deserted the people of Vattiyoorkavu first and now Vadakara. People of Nemom are wary of meeting a similar fate if they were to elect him. If Muraleedharan were sincere, he should have resigned from the Lok Sabha  before entering the fray for the assembly poll.

Q: Many say Kummanam’s prospects in Nemom are not as rosy as those of O Rajagopal’s in 2016 as the latter enjoyed good will cutting across sections?

A: Each candidate has his own merits. Along with the candidate’s personal appeal, the stance of the party, its fights for the cause of the people and its policies are also decisive factors in an election. Besides, Nemom is a constituency which has derived the maximum benefit out of the various schemes piloted by the Narendra Modi government.  

Q. The BJP state president has twice claimed that the NDA can form the government even if it gets 35 seats. Does this mean that the BJP is planning to engineer splits and defections in other parties in post-poll scenario?

A: With this election, BJP will prove itself as a decisive force in state politics, which was not the case earlier. Once other parties recognise us as a decisive force, they will enter the NDA fold and work with us under a Common Minimum Programme.

Q. How successful has the party been in winning the confidence of minorities?

A: Winning over the minority communities does not happen overnight. We have to gain their confidence in a slow and steady manner. Congress leader Vijayan Thomas, a prominent leader belonging to the Christian community, has entered our fold. The misunderstandings of the Muslim community regarding the BJP are slowly vanishing. Besides, we have given adequate representation to minorities in our candidate list. 

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