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Lok Sabha elections 2024: ‘Don’t subscribe to BJP ideology, but development sorely needed’

Updated on: 19 April,2024 07:10 AM IST  |  Thrissur
Vinod Kumar Menon |

Thrissur residents say they cherish secularism but feel let down by failure of Cong, CPIM to deliver on promises

Lok Sabha elections 2024: ‘Don’t subscribe to BJP ideology, but development sorely needed’

Political posters displayed in Thrissur

The common people of Thrissur do not agree with the BJP’s ideology, but if the party wins here, it will be because they want development. BJP candidate Suresh Gopi and Metro man E Sreedharan have stated that the Metro connectivity, which is available up to Aluva should be extended to Thrissur. According to voters, previous governments had failed to deliver new infrastructure projects, including flyovers, and protect the interests of farmers and fishermen.

Shaji Vattukulam, 55, a resident of the Poomala dam area, said, “In our area, eighty per cent of the residents belong to the Christian community while the rest are Hindus. There are 2,000 households in our vicinity, but our demand for a garden near the dam, a health centre and checkpost and round-the-clock security has fallen into deaf ears, for the last thirty years.”

“In the entire district, Poomala is spread over approximately twelve kilometres on a hilly area. Hence our place is called Mini Ooty, and it also has Cheppara caves, which are under the Central Archaeological Survey of India and therefore it is also a tourist destination,” said Shaji.

Shaji Vattukulam, a resident of Poomala dam area (right) Akshay K P, who hails from Thiroor panchayat in Thrissur. Pic/Atul Kamble
Shaji Vattukulam, a resident of Poomala dam area (right) Akshay K P, who hails from Thiroor panchayat in Thrissur. Pic/Atul Kamble

“We do not believe in the BJP’s ideology, but since none of the previous state governments run by Congress or the present CPIM have ever done any proactive development in our area. We have no other option but to vote for the cause of development of Poomala and Thrissur. We find that the BJP may be the answer,” said Shaji.

He added, “In our area, we have always believed in secularism and all community members were welcomed, irrespective of caste and religion. I was born and brought up here. During elections, we have seen political parties, either Congress or CPIM, make promises, but haven’t delivered any of the promises.”

Akshay K P, 21, from nearby Thiroor panchayat, said, “I have a diploma in mechanical engineering, but I am jobless, and compelled to drive a taxi due to my family financial condition. It is unfortunate that youths like me either have no job or are doing odd jobs as our villages do not have any industrial or processing units.”

He added, “The BJP is at least walking the talk by keeping their promise of Sabka saath sab ka vikas in other states. But in Kerala, both Congress and CPIM are completely silent and when in power, they failed to walk the talk in Thrissur district. Metro Man E Sreedharan and even Suresh Gopi recently announced that the Aluva Metro line should be connected till Thrissur, which will boost the district’s future”

“I am going to be a first-time voter, but I have no hope from either the ruling party or Opposition, as I have seen my father K R Praveen Kumar, 50, compelled to do odd jobs, as he never had a permanent job. Banks have seized our property, and we do not have a shelter today. The only hope for development is the BJP, who should be at least given the opportunity to keep their promise,” said Akshay.

Shaji added, “The issue is that Keralities today have money, but unfortunately, the Kerala government does not have money, so they claim, for any development work, at least that is what the present government has been saying. The BJP in power at the Centre, we are hoping that Suresh Gopi will be able to keep most of his promises, as because of him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has recently been visiting Kerala, regularly.

Asked why he was supporting Gopi, Shaji said, “In case the BJP wins, Thrissur will get a Central minister for first time, whereas if CPIM’s Sunil Kumar or Congress’s K Muraleedharan win the seat, they will still be considered Opposition MPs and the same old situation will continue, as they cannot influence the ruling BJP government, unlike Gopi, who will have more power as a Central minister.”

Percentage of Christians in Poomala

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