Will take forward projects initiated by Swaraj, says Babu

UDF candidate K. Babu celebrating his victory in the Thripunithura constituency. File photo  

Returning as a people’s representative after being in the political wilderness for five years, K. Babu, who defeated incumbent M. Swaraj of the Left Democratic Front in a closely-fought electoral battle in Thripunithura Assembly constituency, remains confident of picking up the threads of development from where he had left it.

Addressing drinking water shortage and implementing infrastructural projects figure prominently among his priorities. Mr. Babu had represented the constituency for five successive terms since 1991 before his run was disrupted in 2016 when he was under the cloud of bar bribery scam.

Mr. Babu remains receptive to taking forward the projects conceived by outgoing MLA Mr. Swaraj. He is not even against projects funded by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

“We are not against KIIFB per se but opposed borrowing at higher interest rate when low interest-loans were available,” said Mr. Babu who, however, sought the anticipatory bail that the limitations of being an opposition MLA may hamper his work.

He said that drinking water shortage, which was mostly resolved during his last term as MLA, has re-emerged and addressing it remains one of his priorities. “The construction of Kochi metro up to S.N. Junction, which was the fruit of my efforts, is under way and its extension up to Thripunithura railway station will be prioritised,” Mr. Babu said.

Other projects

Four-lane development of the S.N. Junction-Poothotta road, finalising the alignment of the Kochi-Madurai-Theni highway and hastening its construction, constructing Thevara-Kumbalam bridge, resuming the work on the 40-feet road in Palluruthy, reconstructing the Chanthapalam bridge at Nettoor, and construction of Nettoor-Kadavanthra bridge are his other development priorities.

Restoring the badly affected livelihood of fisher folks and hardships caused by high tide also figured prominently in his development plans.

Mr. Babu said that being relegated to the periphery even by his own party following his defeat in the last election did not dishearten him at any point. “Though I wasn’t a party officer-bearer, I was active among people in the constituency and I will continue that work in the next five years,” he said.

He had scheduled a press conference on Tuesday but called it off in the last minute, which sources close to him said was borne out of the realisation that it may inadvertently end up critical of the Congress. He has been on the receiving end of the allegations that attributed his victory to vote trade-off with the BJP.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 3:55:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/will-take-forward-projects-initiated-by-swaraj-says-babu/article34480983.ece

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