TNM speaks to Congress’s Muvattupuzha candidate, Mathew Kuzhalnadan, who is a lawyer and the general secretary of KPCC.

Congress candidate Mathew Kuzhalnadan, wearing a white shirt, is seen waving.
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 19:46
Written by  Abhish K Bose

Mathew Kuzhalnadan is busy campaigning for his first Assembly election in Kerala. This 42-year-old Congress candidate has been fielded from Muvattupuzha constituency in Ernakulam district, to contest against the sitting Communist Party of India (CPI) MLA, Eldho Abraham. Congress leaders such as Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor, as well as Muslim Youth League state president Munavarali Shihab Thangal, too, have lent their support.

Mathew, an advocate by profession, has a PhD in international trade law from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and is practising at the Supreme Court and Kerala High Court. On the political front, Mathew has held several key positions within the Congress party in Kerala. He is currently the general secretary of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee( KPCC) and also the former general secretary of the Youth Congress National Committee.

Mathew is also the former state president of All India Professional Congress (AIPC), an affiliate of the Congress party that focuses on professionals. He has also been a part of Revive Congress, a defunct group that was formed in 2016 by young leaders to revive and take the party beyond politics. He is now part of Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala-led ‘I’ group of the Congress in Kerala.

The lawyer, who was based out of Delhi, has now shifted his base to Ernakulam and is working from Kerala. TNM catches up with Mathew Kuzhalnadan amidst his busy campaign schedule.

What is the main focus of your campaign?

For the last five years, there has been no development in the constituency. A lot of things have to be done. So, the development of the Muvattupuzha constituency is the main thrust of my campaign. The development of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (RTC) stand and tackling the traffic congestion in the town are some of the things that come under my priorities, when it comes to development. The farming community, which was depending on the agricultural sector, is in a depression. We have to find an out-of-the-box solution for that as well.

You often use catchphrases like ‘always together like a son’ while campaigning?

Yes, my priority is to give care to elderly people and to act as a model for the young generations.

What is your take on the Congress candidate list for the Assembly elections?

The Congress had released the best candidate list in recent history as there are a total of 55 youngsters contesting in this election.

Many leaders in Kerala are leaving the Congress fold and joining the BJP when the polls are just a few weeks away. Your thoughts?

No comment.

Group politics is an integral component of the Congress politics. What’s your view on this?

Though I am not in general agreement with extreme groupism within the Congress party in Kerala, people perceive me as part of the 'I' group now.

What do you think is the need of the hour, especially in view of the crisis that the Congress party is facing at the national level?

An inevitable generation change should happen in the leadership of the Congress party, at the national and state level, so as to tide over the crisis the party is facing now. Once a new generation reaches the leadership of the Congress, the party will get new energy and a new style. Then we will be able to fight. The party is heading towards that generation change. We are trying to espouse a new political culture demanding more transparency in politics and to bring in a new positive culture. 

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