P.M. Velayudhan says he is contesting to win

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in Kollam, P.M. Velayudhan, has said he is contesting to win and not to merely pocket a share of votes as alleged by rivals.

He told The Hindu here on Monday that his confidence was in the ‘Modi wave.’

He was overwhelmed by the huge support extended by youngsters in the constituency, he said. “Youngsters are coming out in large numbers to campaign for me. They are all working for my victory after being attracted by the Modi wave,” Mr. Velayudhan said.

There was an undercurrent in favour of the BJP. The voters of Kollam were aware that the party would come to power after the elections and Mr. Modi would be the Prime Minister, Mr. Velayudhan said.

The voters wanted their representative in the Lok Sabha to be part of the government. In the past seven Lok Sabha elections, the traditional voters of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in general and the Congress in particular had got used to voting for the hand symbol in Kollam. This time, they were being asked to vote for a symbol that they had been opposing through these years, he said.

That factor will make many Congress voters have second thoughts on voting for the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), part of the UDF now. Many of them would prefer the lotus instead, he said.

The UDF candidate in the constituency, N.K. Premachandran, left the LDF for personal gains. There was no guarantee that Mr. Premachandran would not go back to the LDF.

He should have contested independently to prove his credentials, Mr. Velayudhan said. Mr. Velayudhan said he expected large sections of Dalit voters to support him. The UDF and the LDF had been cheating the Dalits over the years. The BJP had always been empathetic to their cause. Many Dalit colonies in the constituency had no water supply or proper roads, he said.

Mr. Velayudhan said he expected the SNDP Yogam’s support. Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan had stated that Mr. Modi was qualified to become Prime Minister. Mr. Velayudhan hailed from Perumbavoor and was the BJP in-charge for Kollam district.

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