THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sitting MP from Alathur P. K. Biju is not over awed by the singing and dancing talent of his UDF opponent Ramya Haridas.
The two-time MP says parliamentary poll is a serious political battle and he did not wish to reduce it to a battle between two individuals. “National politics is the central issue here. The main objective is to install a secular government at the Centre. The Left’s strength in Parliament has to be increased to attain this goal especially in the backdrop of Congress MPs and MLAs crossing over to BJP,” he said.
Biju came to national limelight in August 2016 when he opened the debate in Lok Sabha on the conditions of dalits in the country. “My mother took me to a private school near my village for admission into the first standard. But they refused to enrol me. At that time, I had no idea why my mother was crying,” Biju said while referring to the discrimination he faced as a child.
The debate went on for nine hours with 22 MPs taking part in it. “It was a great honour for me to initiate the debate with a 45-minute speech,” he said.
Apart from the intervention in Parliament, the CPM MP claims that projects of drinking water, education, health, highway will hold him in good stead.
On the allegations about his absence from the constituency for long duration, Biju says; “they have no political issues to raise against me. Whether utilisation of MPLAD funds and centrally-sponsored schemes, the constitution tops in development activities. Drinking water was provided to 25,000 houses, benefits reached every nook and corner. How is this possible without my presence? Local people and beneficiaries are aware of it,” he said.
So is he worried about the hype being created around Ramya? “Such hype has been created even earlier. But the political choice of Alathur people is Left oriented. There is no reason for apprehension on this count. LDF workers are enthusiastic like never before. We have completed first round, second round is about to begin. Our election machinery is working like a well-oiled machine.”
UDF leaders say Ramya has proved her mettle as a people’s elected representative. Her performance as Kunnamangalam block panchayat president has been stupendous. People want a change.
Notwithstanding Biju's confidence, the huge enthusiasm that Ramya's candidature has created among UDF cadres in the constituency is clearly going to worry the LDF in coming days....