Rahul Gandhi was always absent in Wayanad: BJP’s K Surendran

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Thiruvananthapuram, March 31 (IANS) Kerala BJP chief K. Surendran, who is contesting the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat, has said that sitting Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was always absent from the constituency, especially in times of need, including flood and Covid pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with IANS, K. Surendran said the lotus will bloom in Kerala this time.

IANS: Rahul Gandhi is seeking re-election from Wayanad and as a candidate contesting against you. How do you rate his performance in the last five years?

Surendran: Rahul Gandhi has been an utter flop as an MP in Wayanad. He has not been with the people who elected him when they were in dire need of him, be it floods or the Covid pandemic. He was never seen here. Moreover, Wayanad is plagued by human-animal conflict and people live in fear of wild animal attacks. Some got killed in wild animal attacks and our honourable MP was not even with the families who were suffering.

I would like to raise questions to Rahul Gandhi on behalf of the voters of Wayanad: 1) What is the cause of your absence in the Wayanad constituency after the 2019 Lok Sabha election? 2) Are you betraying the voters after winning? 3) Why were you not in the constituency and voters during the flood fury and Covid period? 4) What efforts have you made to resolve man-animal conflict? 5) What initiatives have you carried out to help those who are economically deprived in Wayanad? 6) What initiatives have you taken for women’s empowerment? Here is the contrast between Rahul Gandhi’s absence and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constant presence in his constituency, Varanasi.

IANS: Being the state president of Kerala BJP, will contest the election from Wayanad lead to you travelling less in the state?

Surendran: Yes, contesting elections from Wayanad will require me to spend more time in the constituency, meeting with voters and campaigning. This may result in travelling less for other party-related work, but I will make sure to balance my responsibilities as both the state president and a candidate.

IANS: BJP is fighting with a target of 400 seats. How many seats will you fetch from Kerala?

Surendran: During his latest visit to Pathanamthitta and Palakkad, PM Narendra Modi expressed his confidence about the lotus blooming in Kerala because voters will break the cycle of LDF and UDF establishing governments. He further said that this time the BJP will open the account. We are focused on double figures and I am confident that we will be able to obtain them with PM Narendra Modi’s encouragement. As a member of Narendra Modi Ji’s family, I follow his development plan and instructions to attain the goal.

IANS: Despite fighting against each other in the state, are the Congress and CPI(M) working together in some seats where the BJP has an advantage?

Surendran: It is absolutely clear that the UDF and LDF, the two partners in the INDIA bloc, are leading an unholy alliance between two fronts in Kerala. Outside of Kerala, they are “acha dost and in Kerala bura dost.” How does it work? This reveals their character. This is solely to distort voters and mislead them. The people of Wayanad would certainly wonder why the prominent leaders of the INDIA bloc are competing against one another in the same constituency.

IANS: What are the key points of BJP’s campaign in Kerala and yours in particular?

Surendran: As far as the election campaign is concerned, ‘Modi Ji Ki Guarantee’ is the key focus point of the Lok Sabha election campaign in Kerala. Educate and alert the voters about the projects and schemes of the Modi government. We have outlined the following key areas for our campaign — Development, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Healthcare, Education, Women, Empowerment and Traditional values. In addition to that, the empowerment of Wayanad’s economically and socially marginalised population is another important aspect. And also, creating an ecosystem that is harmonious and beneficial to nature. In this election, the people will understand and mark the difference between ‘Modi ji Ka Parivar’ vs ‘Nehru Ka Parivar’.

IANS: You are into the second term as BJP’s Kerala state president. How has the experience been?

Surendran: My second term as BJP’s Kerala state president has been a challenging yet fulfilling experience. I am grateful for the trust and support given to me by the party leadership and workers. During my second term, we were able to make significant strides in expanding the party’s base in Kerala. We focused on grassroots level activities and worked hard to connect with the people of the state.

We also successfully conducted various campaigns and programmes to spread the ideals and policies of the BJP. I faced many challenges and obstacles, but with the support of our dedicated workers, we were able to overcome them and make our presence felt in the state. I am proud of our achievements and I am confident that the BJP will continue to grow in Kerala under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji.

IANS: You have reached up to the post of state BJP president from the grassroots level. Please explain your political journey.

Surendran: I was born and brought up in a farmer’s family. My political journey began through ABVP, the student wing of RSS at the grassroots level. From there, I gradually became involved in various social and political activities, working closely with the people and understanding their issues and concerns. I subsequently became the BJYM district president in Wayanad and was tasked with organising and expanding the party in Kerala. I worked relentlessly at the grassroots level to engage with individuals from all walks of life and propagate the party’s message. Through my hard work and dedication, I was elected as the State President of the BJP in Kerala in 2020.

IANS: In Wayanad, CPI leader Annie Raja, the wife of party General Secretary D. Raja, is also contesting. In the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, both these parties are contesting together. Your comments?

Surendran: It is widely known that the CPI and the Congress are partners in the INDIA bloc and yet they are competing against each other in several states. In Kerala, however, the BJP is the primary opposition party, and our goal is to expose their unholy partnership to the voters of Kerala. We are informing the voters about the politics of the bloc. Our party is hopeful of gaining a large number of seats in the next Lok Sabha elections.



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