Says he will be an agent of change

Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency A. Vijayaraghavan, shortly after filing his nomination papers on Wednesday, parried questions on the future of the Left in national politics, and echoed Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat’s take that there is no ‘third alternative’ now.

In an interaction with the media at a programme named Dilli Chalo, Mr. Vijayaraghavan said the Left would be the “galvanising force” that would hold together the fabric of secular politics.

Asked whether he considered the third alternative a failure, he said that to his knowledge there was no third alternative now.

He said the third alternative was a prospect in the post-election scenario.

“What you are talking about is a post-election scenario. Politics is in a state of flux,” he said.

He, however, stressed that the polls for the 16th Lok Sabha marked the end of coalition tie-ups centred either around the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1989.

“A third alternative other than the Congress and the BJP will have the majority in the Lok Sabha this time. People are fed up with the neo-liberal policies of UPA-2 and the communalism of the BJP. This is where the role of the Left as a force that has always upheld the ordinary man’s interests and brought them to the forefront will gain prominence in national politics,” Mr. Vijayaraghavan said, drawing on his experience as a two-time Rajya Sabha member.

On his constituency race, he reflected that the top leadership of the Congress was already mentally prepared for failure, and this would have a trickle-down effect on individual constituency battles.

Taking a dig at his United Democratic Front (UDF) rival M.K. Raghavan, he said no insular attempts by the UDF candidates to trumpet their past “achievements” would convince the voter.

Pooh-poohing Mr. Raghavan’s claims of having implemented a slew of infrastructure projects in the district in the past five years, Mr. Vijayaraghavan said, “An escalator at the railway station is not the benchmark for having ushered in development.”

“I believe development is an outcome of political initiative. Only if there are funds will development happen. As an MP, I would intervene productively in the Lok Sabha for comprehensive development of the city. I will become the agent of change, and act as a medium between the people and the decision makers,” Mr. Vijayaraghavan, said, outlining his campaign formula.

‘Sure win for LDF’

The venue also witnessed an interaction with the LDF candidate in the Vadakara constituency, A.N. Shamseer, who also filed his nomination papers on Wednesday.

Mr. Shamseer said Vadakara was a sure win for the LDF because of the anti-incumbency wave against the UDF. Asked if the 2012 murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party leader T.P. Chandrasekharan would affect his prospects, Mr. Shamseer said that in this election, national issues of price rise and corruption were being debated.

On the corruption in the incumbent UPA-2 government, Mr. Shamseer said “crony capitalism and neo-liberal policy is at the core of corruption.”


Constituency watch: KeralaMarch 7, 2014

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