The ‘Dilli Chalo’ meet-the-press programme series of the Calicut Press Club on Monday brought together United Democratic Front candidate and sitting MP M.K. Raghavan and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate C.K. Padmanabhan to share what they have on cards for the electorate of the Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency.
While Mr. Raghavan said his re-election was the “need of the time” to ensure continuity of the already undertaken development projects in the constituency, Mr. Padmanabhan countered it saying that seeking a re-election in the name of “a few projects for a single constituency” would never be accepted by voters who had a national perspective. Mr. Raghavan listed out his contributions to the constituency in his five-year term and argued that his ultimate responsibility as a people’s representative was to address the developmental needs of his constituency first. “I am not such a big shot to comment on national politics or other national issues in the Congress party other than dealing with the issues in my constituency,” he said.
Making open his disagreement, Mr. Padmanabhan said that no political party, especially the Congress, would be able to face the election without discussing national issues such as price hike of essential goods and the corruption charges raised against the Ministers in the United Progressive Alliance. “The developmental projects listed out by Mr. Raghavan could have been completed by the responsible government machinery or officers’ in-charge of the projects even without the MP’s presence,” he said.
The BJP candidate said that the next government at the Centre would be one led by Narendra Modi and the fulfilment of the developmental aspirations of a constituency would be accomplished only with a people’s representative from the same front. Mr. Raghavan said that the BJP’s promise of forming a “Rama Rajya” as per Gandhian ideals at the Centre would be the best comedy of the year and would be futile just like the ongoing attempt of the Communist parties in India to form a third front, he said.
Countering the stance, Mr. Padmanabhan said “leaders like Mr. Raghavan were not sensing the national trend in India and the support of large number of regional parties for the BJP.” He said that the Congress and Communist parties were now moving hand-in-hand to fight BJP.