R. Ramabhadran Pillai
KOCHI: While the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has managed to field a candidate without much controversy and the United Democratic Front (UDF) is yet to come out with the name of its candidate, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has gone ahead in the election campaign in the Ernakulam parliamentary constituency. The party candidate, BJP State general secretary A.N. Radhakrishnan, has already gone around the constituency twice, addressing voters at street corners.
The ‘early advantage’ had been clearly visible, said Mr. Radhakrishnan who was campaigning on Tuesday at Chellanam, an area dominated by fisheries sector workers. Earlier, he had addressed another meeting at Kumbalangi, a sleepy suburb which forms part of a long and beautiful coastal zone.
The campaign, started a month ago with the launch of the ‘Parivarthana yatra,’ is more focussed on regional issues. The development of the constituency is high on the agenda. A document outlining the development issues is being brought out by the party as part of the campaign. It is to be released after the parliamentary convention to be addressed by its national leader Venkaiah Naidu on March 19.
The party is launching a novel approach to assess the people’s voice on development issues. A two-member wing will camp at street corners to interact with the public and a questionnaire will be distributed among the people. Mr. Radhakrishnan hopes that the exercise will give an avenue to bridge the gap between the people and the party while boosting the campaign. Discussions have already been held with many of the representatives of the trade and commerce and the practice is to be continued.
A veteran trade union leader and head of an event management company, Mr. Radhakrishnan takes on the two Fronts for the lapses on the development front. The project completion is not time-bound, as in the case of Edapally-Moothakunnam road, a 25 km stretch where the work remains incomplete ever since it started 30 years ago. The works on the 8.5 km stretch between Vyttila and Aroor on the National Highway will be completed only by 2011, he says. Kochi is the only modern city without a flyover. The Ernakulam North bridge is a symbol of unscientific and inadequate infrastructure. Touching on the Metro rail project, a highly debated topic among the people, he emphasises on the need for suburban rail projects to Kottayam and Thrissur.