Cong banks on development plank in Kozhikode

Cong banks on development plank in Kozhikode

“Vote for continued development”, reads campaign posters for Congress’ candidate and sitting MP from Kozhikode M K Raghavan.

The Congress leader, who managed to scrape through in the 2009 election against Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) candidate P A Mohammed Riyas, has emphasised on development projects initiated in the constituency as he takes on a formidable challenger from the Left Democratic Front (LDF), the CPM’s A Vijayaraghavan.

The Congress seems to have stuck to the development agenda and its activists in the constituency are lining up campaigns that barely touch upon national issues.

The idea is to project Raghavan as an accessible and local leader who could bring in more development if the Congress retains power at the Centre.  The party, however, has found a strong opponent in CPM central committee member Vijayaraghavan.

Both candidates have picked up pace in the initial phase of campaigning. The LDF campaign, while dispelling the development talk, is banking on Raghavan’s slender victory margin to make a reversal this time.

Raghavan had won the 2009 election by 838 votes.

Campaigners from the Students Federation of India (SFI) have also joined in, organising discussions in public spaces on the “need” for the Left to be the alternative to the Congress and the BJP.  “As always, there’s talk about development that has been carried over from previous MPs and governments. It’s a vote for change at the Centre and we can’t be limited to local concerns,” says Ajeer M, a PG student and Left supporter.

The BJP has fielded senior leader C K Padmanabhan from the constituency, setting Kozhikode up for an interesting contest.

The Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency covers the seven Assembly constituencies of Balusseri, Elathur, Kozhikode North, Kozhikode South, Beypore, Kunnamangalam and Koduvally.

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