A free and frank discussion at the interaction

First-time voters interacted with the candidates fielded by major political parties for the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency on Wednesday. The interaction session was organised by Aram Foundation.

R. Prabhu from Indian National Congress (INC), Pon Chandran from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), K. Ganesh Kumar from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), C.P. Radhakrishnan from Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) and sitting MP P.R. Natarajan from Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) took part in the interaction.

A.P. Nagarajan of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) did not take part.

Prof. Azhagarsamy, Head of the Department of Master of Social Works, Krishna College, moderated the session. R. Prabhu, was asked why Congress was not projecting youth in the forefront, referring to Rahul Gandhi, Mr. Prabhu said he himself was a youth.

C.P. Radhakrishnan was asked why his party was ignoring experience, referring to L.K. Advani and Jaswant Singh. Mr. Radhakrishnan said that BJP was not ignoring experience as Mr. Advani would be contesting from Gandhi Nagar and Mr. Jaswant Singh faced disciplinary action for violating party code.

A student asked when the CPI (M) could endorse the views of Swami Vivekananda in West Bengal and Sree Narayana Guru in Kerala and why it was not endorsing any religion-based ideologies in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Natarajan said the CPI (M) endorsed the views of the two saints in Tamil Nadu also.

To a question how ordinary people could do well in politics which was dominated by muscle power and dynastic politics, Mr. Ganesh Kumar (DMK) disputed the question and said a person like him at the grassroots level of the organisation had been given a seat.

When a student asked him whether his party would bring in total prohibition and take over quarrying and sand mining stating that the roles stood reversed today vis-à-vis Government and private players, Mr. Ganesh Kumar explained the need for sand quarrying and said his party would consider total prohibition.

When Pon Chandran (AAP) was asked why Aravind Kejriwal chose to resign despite given the mandate to form the Government, he said that AAP never wanted to remain in power without delivering on its promises because of too many hindrances in governance.