MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Kerala wants to swing away from jugalbandi of Congress and the Left: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

'PM Modi has done so much work in the last 10 years and Kerala, in sharp contrast, is going in reverse gear. So you see a state government that has taken the economy into bankruptcy and you have an Opposition party, Congress, that would rather discuss beef, Manipur and CAA', the BJP minister said

K.M. Rakesh Thiruvananthapuram Published 24.04.24, 07:34 AM
Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar Sourced by The Telegraph

Union minister for IT and skill development and three-time Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar is taking on Congress MP Shashi Tharoor who is trying for a fourth consecutive term in the Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram.

Chandrasekhar, the Bengaluru-based techie-tur­ned-entrepreneur-turned politician, took time off his campaign trail to talk to The Telegraph in Thiruvananthapuram on April 7.

ADVERTISEMENT

Why Thiruvananthapuram and why not Bengaluru?

When the Prime Minister asked me in January which Lok Sabha constituency I would want, and there was talk in the party of a safe constituency like New Delhi or Bengaluru, I said I would prefer Kerala, which is my home state, and I would be honoured to contest from Thiruvananthapuram, because there were already speculations about Nirmalaji (finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman), (foreign minister) Jaishankar and even the Prime Minister contesting from here.

He came back to me in the third week of February and said it would be challenging, but asked me to start preparing.

The PM spoke about winning double digits in Kerala where the BJP is yet to open its account. What is your take?

There is certainly a huge sentiment that the Prime Minister has done so much work in the last 10 years and Kerala, in sharp contrast, is going in reverse gear. So you see a state government that has taken the economy into bankruptcy and you have an Opposition party, Congress, that would rather discuss beef, Manipur and CAA.

So the people of Kerala certainly want to break from the trap of the 60-65 years of this little jugalbandi of the Congress and the Left. Both of them have done very little for the state, or created jobs or brought in investments. So I think from a common-sense point of view, they will start looking for an alternative, that too when the alternative is here in plain sight in the form of Narendra Modiji.

How different are the CPM and Congress who are part of the INDIA alliance?

They are electoral partners in every state except in Kerala. So, therefore, it is very clear even to the simplest observer that the Left andthe UDF are the two sides of the same coin.

How do you see the Congress allegation of a secret understanding with the CPM to help BJP win two seats, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram?

It’s quite silly, isn’t it? They are the alliance partners with the CPM. And if they say their partner is going to work against them then there is a question mark about the INDIA alliance in general.

How do you read the minority response in Thiruvananthapuram in light of attacks in Manipur and other states?

The response, whether it is minority, majority, Hindu, Christian or Muslim, is the same. People want change, development, investment and prosperity. It is very clear regardless of whether you are a Christian or Hindu.

So are you saying issues like Manipur wouldn’t have abearing here?

Manipur matters if they (the Opposition) are truthful. But they are lying through their teeth. Now they say beef will be banned. They have put up a poster saying we will burn churches. So it is basically a desperate attempt to talk about anything but development and progress, because then the scrutiny will be on what they did or didn’t do.

Is Thiruvananthapuram witnessing a battlebetween Brand Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Brand Shashi Tharoor?

No. No. It is about the politics of performance and the politics of non-performance.

How do you respond to the two complaints filed against you for non-disclosure of assets in your election affidavit?

This has been done by the Congress umpteen number of times in the last many years. I am not a fool that I would make disclosures to Parliament for the last 18 years and not have lawyers vet them.

Kerala votes on April 26

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT