Candidates go all out to woo voters in Thrikkakara

LDF candidate Jo Joseph his campaign in Thrikkakara.

LDF candidate Jo Joseph his campaign in Thrikkakara. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

NDA’s A.N. Radhkrishnan meeting voters in Thrikkakkara.

NDA’s A.N. Radhkrishnan meeting voters in Thrikkakkara. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

UDF candidate Uma Thomas during the campaign.

UDF candidate Uma Thomas during the campaign. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

It is around 10.10 a.m, and a motley crowd of senior citizens had gathered at the open air auditorium at Changampuzha park at Edappally on Thursday.

A few Congress workers are awaiting the arrival of party candidate Uma Thomas, as heavy rains that pounded various parts of the city in the morning took a short break. There is no vehicle announcement or the usual fanfare as Ms. Thomas reached the spot and greeted the elderly, who had been waiting in the auditorium to receive free medicines and palliative care as part of the ‘Vayomithram’ project of the Kerala Social Security Mission.

“How is your health?” she asked two elderly women while holding them close to her. “The response from voters has been overwhelming from day one of the campaign, especially from women,” she said. A street performance by CPI(M) workers highlighting the development projects of the government was progressing close to the entrance to the park.

The conversation with Ms. Thomas, wife of late P.T. Thomas who represented the constituency twice, naturally veers towards how the Left is terming the Congress anti-development. “I am not against projects that will reduce travel time and ease commuters’ woes. But why should we have a disastrous project like SilverLine that will impact the lives of thousands and instead focus on improving other public transport options,” she asked as accompanying party workers reminded her of visiting shops nearby to seek votes.

Nearly 6 km away, a ‘Narayaneeyam’ recital is on at the Sreenarayaneswaram Temple at Ponnurunni near Vyttila. The Left candidate, Dr. Jo Joseph, walks into the open stage to greet women participating in the programme.

In a few words, he introduces himself and seeks their blessings. A party worker directs him to a hall beside the auditorium, where piping hot porridge is being served as part of the function. Dr. Joseph picks up a plate and adds a spoon of pickle into his plate. “Despite heavy rains, the trend is positive and in favour of the Left Front. We are getting the support of all sections,” he said in response to the initial criticism by the United Democratic Front that there was external pressure behind his selection.

A few party workers join him in having food, as Dr. Joseph makes it clear that development is the main poll plank in Thrikkakara. “We are staying clear of controversial issues. The focus is on a positive approach in politics,” he said.

Around 1 p.m., workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are awaiting their candidate A.N. Radhakrishnan at the St. George Church parish hall at Edappally. Amid a light drizzle, he reaches the venue where several persons had turned up to attend a memorial service. A glass of ‘parippu payasam’ is served to the candidate as he goes around shaking hands with the visitors.

“The BJP’s victory in the local body elections in the Kochi Corporation and Thripunitura Municipality will reflect in the party’s performance in Thrikkakara,” he said. On the Left’s allegation that the Centre was responsible for the delay in the Kakkanad extension of the Kochi metro, Mr. Radhakrishnan said it took around 40 years for the Left to develop NH-66 between Edappally and Moothakunnam.

“Metro Rail became a reality owing to the support extended by the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] government. The Kakkanad extension is getting delayed as the State is yet to commit its share for the project,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 7:39:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/candidates-go-all-out-to-woo-voters-in-thrikkakara/article65430460.ece