Making sure that no part of the constituency is left uncovered in the election campaign, P Rajeev, Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in Ernakulam constituency, started his second round of campaigning for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The former Parliamentarian and former Ernakulam District Secretary of CPI (M) is campaigning hard, and fast in the constituency. Speaking to TNM between his campaigns on a hot afternoon, Rajeev expressed his views on the constituency and stressed that Ernakulam was not a Congress bastion.
“We cannot call a constituency as a particular party’s fortress. We are devaluing the people of the constituency by saying that,” said Rajeev.
Ernakulam Lok Sabha Constituency was formed when it broke away from the Travancore-Cochin constituency in 1957.
Over the last few decades, the LDF could win the Lok Sabha seat from Ernakulam only two times (1996 and 2004), that too, with the support of independent candidates backed by the party. But P Rajeev, who holds the reins of the party in the district, says that constituencies cannot be any party’s bastion.
“People select candidates using their discretion, based on the issues they face currently. We lost the constituency in 2009 by thin margins. So we cannot say Ernakulam is the bastion of Congress,” said Rajeev.
In 2009, CPM’s Sindhu Joy lost the polls to Congress’s KV Thomas by 11,790 votes.
Ernakulam’s sitting MP KV Thomas contested and won the elections from the constituency for five terms since 1984. This year, however, the party has fielded sitting MLA Hibi Eden.
Sharing the plans for the development of his constituency, Rajeev said that he aims to improve the living standards of the people. “I do not have any magic wand to do this. I have asked the people here what their needs are. I believe in doing things based on this,” Rajeev told TNM.
“I will ensure the people have access to clean drinking water, air and environment. Best quality education, health care and other facilities associated with this will also be ensured,” said Rajeev.
When asked about the recent amicus curiae report on the faulty dam management during the 2018 Kerala floods, Rajeev said that releasing the report during the election season was probably due to some vested interest. Without offering any further explanation, he jumped to the rehabilitation initiatives of the government.
“We had been directly involved in the rehabilitation of flood-stricken areas like Paravur in Ernakulam. Recently, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan even handed over the keys of the 1001 house in the district, which was in Paravur,” said the LDF candidate in Ernakulam, which was one of the worst-affected districts in the floods.