Swaraj, pitched as the young promising face of the party, is confident despite being a first-time candidate facing a veteran leader

Bigger leaders have failed LDF newbie M Swaraj on why he can beat K Babu in Tripunithura
news Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 11:32

The last time a CPI (M) candidate won an election from the Tripunithura constituency was in 1987. The winner on that occasion was V Viswanatha Menon who served as Kerala’s Finance Minister from 1987–1991. After that election, the LDF has not been able to wrest the seat from the present Excise Minister, K Babu, who has represented the constituency for the last 25 years, irrespective of the variety of candidates put up for the seat.  

However, a change in the political scenario may apparently be in the offing, as the opposition alleges that the bar bribery scam has tainted Babu’s image. According to media reports, even the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president VM Sudheeran, opposed to candidates facing corruption charges, was skeptical about Babu’s candidature.

The candidate that the LDF hopes can finally defeat K Babu and deliver a long-awaited sequel to the 1987 victory is M Swaraj, the DYFI state secretary.

Swaraj, pitched as the young promising face of the party, is confident despite being a first-time candidate facing a veteran leader.

“You judge him (K Babu) as a well-accepted personality in Tripunithura just by considering the results of previous elections. But now the situation has changed, we know that even KPCC president doesn’t want him as a contestant. This time the voters’ priority is to vote against corruption. People don’t support corruption.”

In elections, he says, the stature of a leader does not always work in their favour. “Many bigger leaders have failed in elections, Indira Gandhi was defeated in 1977, Kamaraj also failed in 1967, even KPCC president VM Sudheeran has failed in elections in 2004. The people decide who wins and who fails,” he says.

In Tripunithura, the key promises that will be highlighted from the LDF manifesto will be those that address drinking water issues, road development, problems faced by the fishermen community, development of small scale industry, and job opportunities for youngsters and so on.

“In the last 25 years, no public sector industries have come up. It should be changed. More job opportunities through the public sector and small scale industries should be developed,” he adds.

Swaraj has often been compared to Pinarayi Vijayan, a tough politician with powerful words, but with little popularity among the public. When asked about the complaints in social media that nobody is familiar with a smiling Swaraj, he chuckles, saying, “People who don’t know me think so. People who have talked to me at least once will not say this.”

He continues : “Two years ago Akeeraman Kalidasa Bhattathiripad, president of  Namboodiri Yogakshema Sabha in a speech said I was not so horrid as he thought. Voters of Tripunithura know me very well. They know that these are all false claims.”

He says that among the voters of Tripunithura he is a familiar face, not at all a new comer as alleged by the opposition.

“I get overwhelming support from the voters when I meet them personally. It doubles my confidence,” Swaraj says.


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