Kerala

RBC a force to reckon with in Vadakarapathy

Vadakarapathy grama panchayat in the eastern part of Palakkad district bordering Tamil Nadu has a unique front in the fray apart from the United Democratic Front (UDF), Left Democratic Front (LDF), and the BJP.

The front named Right Bank Canal (RBC), formed five years ago in the name of water, is a force to reckon with in Vadakarapathy, much of which falls in the rain-shadow region of Palakkad. The RBC is fighting the local body election for the second time, after having ruled the panchayat with the LDF support.

Although the political relations have changed over the last five years, the RBC still remains a strong force in Vadakarapathy. RBC leaders realised the people’s mindset for the first time in the 2014 Lok Sabha election when the voters cast 10,606 votes for NOTA (none of the above) in response to their call.

In the last panchayat election, the RBC won seven out of the 17 wards and clinched the local body administration with the help of the LDF, thus bringing an end to the long years of the UDF rule in Vadakarapathy. RBC’s Kolandai Theresa became president and CPI(M)’s A.P. Anil Kumar, vice president.

The front was formed for the fulfilment of a long cherished dream of Vadakarapathy’s farming community to extend the Right Bank Canal (RBC) from Moolathara to Velanthavalam. The canal extension has been viewed as a way out to address the water scarcity in the region.

In the 2016 Assembly election, Minister for Water Resources K. Krishnankutty, who contested from Chittur, won the support of the RBC on the promise of the canal extension. Mr. Krishnankutty’s assurance was to bring the RBC to Velanthavalam by crossing the Korayar and the Varattayar.

The land needed for the canal extension is acquired until the Varattayar in neighbouring Eruthempathy panchayat. However, a lot more remains to be done to achieve the objective.

The RBC supported the UDF in the last Lok Sabha election. Although the RBC has ended hobnobbing with the CPI(M), it continues its cordial relations with the Janata Dal, an LDF constituent.

The RBC is contesting in 10 of the 17 seats. It has no candidates in the five seats where the Janata Dal is contesting. When the UDF and the BJP have candidates in all seats, the CPI(M) has candidates in nine seats, including two under independent banner.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:06:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/rbc-a-force-to-reckon-with-in-vadakarapathy/article33252393.ece

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