LDF nominee in Manalur Baby John and his rival candidate of the UDF P. A. Madhavan have said that their respective election manifestos will assign a high priority to kole land development.

They stated this while addressing separate meet-the-press programmes at the Thrissur Press Club on Thursday.

Mr. John said that he would take the initiative to draw up a project to manufacture liquor from coconut. “This will boost coconut farming,” he added.

Asked whether he foresaw the support of the Thrissur Archdiocese, which had demanded adequate Catholic representation in candidate lists of political parties, he replied, “I stand for Left ideology. My life and views have been shaped by Marxist ideals. As for support, the voters will decide who they should.”

He alleged that the Congress-led Corporation council was not taking effective measures to solve waste management problems in Lalur.

“Political parties should work together and forge a consensus on solving problems facing Lalur,” he said.

Mr. Madhavan said the UDF was confident of winning the Manalur seat as the constituency supported the front in the Lok Sabha and local body elections.

Asked whether the Church had exerted an influence over the Congress in selecting a few candidates, he said, “No external force has had the final say in deciding which party member should contest.”

On intra-party protests over candidate list, he said that such reactions were normal in big parties. “Such protests look odd only in cadre parties.”