Electioneering peaks in Aluva, the traditional Congress stronghold

The winding paths leading to the sleepy Parambussery are bordered by lush vegetation. A senior citizen who seemed to have just come out of his slumber was eager enough to show the way towards the inaugural point of the UDF election campaign on Friday.

The 8-km drive from Athani junction in Nedumbassery came to a halt around 8.30 a.m., as enthusiastic Congress workers helped in spotting a parking space. The face of a 13-year-old standing close to the announcement vehicle brightened up when campaign managers offered T-shirts with the portrait of the UDF candidate printed on them.

As crackers burst, Congress candidate and sitting MLA Anwar Sadath took charge of the microphone. “I had the opportunity to take the lead in constructing nearly 40 homes under the Ammakilikoodu housing project for the needy. The Aluva constituency has witnessed development worth ₹600 crore since 2016. Development and care will be our motto,” he says. Expecting a hat-trick win, Mr. Sadath climbed the steps of his open campaign vehicle before seeking the blessings of an aged woman.

It is 10.15 a.m., and anxious LDF workers at Chengal in Kanjoor panchayat are busy calling up their comrades accompanying the front’s candidate while reminding them not to stretch the schedule. “The campaign team should have been here by 9.30 a.m.,” one of them says. A local LDF leader turns eloquent as he rides on the pre-poll surveys and achievements of the Left government, keeping onlookers engaged.

A few minutes later, Shelna Nishad, the Independent candidate of the LDF, arrives in an open vehicle. “Please do not forget that football is my symbol. Your vote will help me in shaping up a new Aluva,” she says before walking towards the nearby shops to shake hands with women and the elderly.

At Keezhmadu panchayat, the campaign vehicles of the BJP candidate are neatly parked. After over three hours of meeting voters, party candidate M.N. Gopi and his team are having a short break. “We are having a quick breakfast. Party workers are upbeat, and we hope to improve our vote share,” says Mr. Gopi.

The pilot vehicle is on its way to the next campaign point as the announcer unleashes his anger against the Left government. “They [the government] came with a promise of making everything right. At the end of the day, nothing has changed,” he says.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 2:38:23 PM |

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