Kochi

Candidates brave summer heat to woo voters in Kalamassery

V.E. Abdul Gafoor during his campaign at Kangarappady near Kalamassery on Monday.  

The slow-moving open Jeep comes to a halt at the IRE gates in Eloor. There is a flurry of activity, as those gathered to receive P. Rajeev, the LDF candidate in Kalamassery, unpack the little shawls they have readied to welcome him. Someone offers him a pineapple, while a big bunch of plantain is being passed around as refreshment for those accompanying him.

Though this is only his second stop, the oppressive heat is in the air, and a watermelon offered by a supporter symbolises the heated contest in a constituency that has been won convincingly on both occasions by the UDF during the 10 years of its existence.

Mr. Rajeev, in the meanwhile, is moving around greeting party supporters, who have come out to hear him. “Consider me a member of your family,” he said referring to his long association with the largest industrial area in Kerala, where he had begun his career as an apprentice.

V.E. Abdul Gafoor of the UDF began the day around 8 a.m. at Kangarappady, and when he reaches Kolottimoola, near Thevakkal, just before 9 a.m., the convoy has grown into a big one with several cars and motorbikes following him. His open vehicle makes a slow progress through the narrow, climbing road, and senior UDF leaders on board the vehicle with Mr. Gafoor wave in unison to those waiting in front of their homes.

Mr. Gafoor is the son of sitting MLA V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, and he exuded confidence about his success. The mike announcement reminds voters of the “failure” and “false promises” by the LDF government. He highlights corruption and inefficiency of the LDF rule.

P.S. Jayaraj of the BDJS, which is part of the NDA, begins his day relatively early. By 7 a.m. he is already on his scooter visiting voters closest to his home at Koduvazhanga in Alangad panchayat. “I am contesting an election for the first time,” he said sounding confident that the people had responded positively to his candidature because he was highlighting key issues. The morning round of visits to neighbours is followed by a hectic trip of the constituency that begins around 8 a.m. and ends by 9 p.m.

He said his focus was on issues like the need for cleaning up the Periyar, which is the lifeline for all panchayats and urban bodies in the constituency.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:38:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/candidates-brave-summer-heat-to-woo-voters-in-kalamassery/article34193679.ece

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