LDF, UDF poll planks mutually exclusive
With campaigning reaching its fag end, the electoral fight for the Kozhikode Lok Sabha seat between the UDF and the LDF is based on issues local versus national.
So far, the campaign issues raised by UDF candidate and incumbent M.K. Raghavan and his LDF adversary, A. Vijayaraghavan, have remained mutually exclusive.
Mr. Raghavan strongly argues for the “development” he claims to have heralded locally within the constituency. He has so far not voiced definite opinions on issues like price and corruption.
Whenever confronted, he maintains he is a “small man” and not a national leader equipped to discuss large issues. To his detractors and critics, he says they have deliberately chosen to shut their eyes to his “tangible” development achievements.
His campaign addresses and pamphlets claims that it was because of his intervention as MP that the Kozhikode Medical College was allotted Rs.150 crore from the Centre for its overall development.
Similarly, he claims credit for the Vellayil and Puthiyappa fishing harbour works, the uplift of the Kozhikode Railway Station to national status, and inauguration of the Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences, among others.Price rise
The LDF, in turn, primarily focuses on national issues like price rise, corporate subsidies and “creation of an atmosphere conducive for oil companies to make profits” during the UPA II. The LDF sources say Mr. Raghavan’s claims are just “bubbles in the air”. Besides, the local LDF camp reasons that the common man is more worried about prices shooting up for everyday commodities rather than “escalators” at the railway station.
For Mr. Raghavan of the Congress, the next five years will be an extension of his activities in the current term. His future plans are centred on the infrastructure development of the city.
This includes a heritage corridor project that includes S.M. Street, a museum complex named after V.K. Krishna Menon, turning Sarovaram Bio Park into an urban eco park, setting up a wetland authority, connecting Connolly Canal from Kappad to Kadalundi and extending the monorail project to connect tourism centres.
Not to be outdone, Mr. Vijayaraghavan, apart from the basic issues of price and corruption, also promises to focus on connectivity, protection of waterbodies and a sustainable water transport system.