An interview with Kummanam Rajashekaran, the BJP Kerala state unit President.
Freshly anointed as the state BJP unit President, and now being promoted as the ‘face of the party’ in Kerala, Kummanam Rajashekaran was recently in Bangalore to speak at a party event. Swarajya caught up with him for an interview. He spoke about the increasing number of political murders, what he calls the bankruptcy of Congress/Left parties in Kerala and his views on the environment. A brief transcript is followed by video clips.
On the recent political killings in Kerala
“The BJP believes in positive politics. Of Late we are seeing a lot of negative politics everywhere. The CPM has been propagating negative politics, the Congress too. People want peace and harmony. CPM has been murdering people. Recently 78th murder happened in Kannur. They want the opponents to be killed. Congress is corrupt and is only looking to make money out of every project. We believe in Adarsha Rashtriyam, value based politics is essential for Kerala”.
He adds that “CPM has been doing a lot of political killings. During the earlier days, the Communist party had an ideology. They conducted study classes and seminars. They had influenced many artists and writers and cultural leaders. These days, the Communists have lost their ideology and are relying upon weapons to eliminate the opponents”.
On the economic problems in Kerala
He says that Kerala has experienced only the LDF (Left Democratic Front) and UDF (United Democratic Fund) rule so far out of which more than twenty-five years were ruled by the communists. “What have the people of Kerala gained? Food production has decreased to only 13 percent of the GDP and out of 33,000 water distribution projects that were commissioned, only 13000 projects are there now. Others have either been demolished or discontinued.”
Kummanam also believes that there are no employment opportunities in Kerala and the youth have been moving out for many years now. “So many Keralites have moved to the US, UK, the Gulf countries. No sector has shown any progress. Only corruption charges against these ministers are increasing. So many institutions have been closed down. Hundreds of industries have been shut down.” he says.
“Kerala is not a developing state, it is a consumer state. People are working outside and they are consuming. People’s purchasing capacity has increased not through production” he adds.
What path does the BJP has in mind to rectify the huge debt burden of the state
It would be a tedious and risky process and a great challenge but the party is willing to take it up. He adds that their economic policies are based on the natural resources in Kerala which the present Congress government is not utilising. “Why are they depending on the food grains from Tamil Nadu?” he asks. “Agriculture Production is only 13 percent. Jackfruit crops have been destroyed. 3000 crores worth of jackfruit is being destroyed. If we had food processing units, there could be more employment.”
“Kerala has good climate, good water, good soil, so much can be achieved in the state of Kerala”. he adds.
On the international airport at Aranmula
“Nobody can construct an airport at Aranmula, because it is a heritage village. The paddy fields and wetlands have to be preserved. The ecosystem of that village has to be protected because it is a heritage village. The people there are all for the cause, in fact adamant about it. The airport had been pitched on the banks of the holy river Pampa. If an airport comes on that 2500 acres of paddy land, the entire area will be ruined. There could even be water shortage. This is the reality. If the nature is not preserved, what will the fate of the people there?”
“The airport can be built in a different area and there are places in the same district, where we can show without tampering the ecosystem of that place.”
Kummanam adds; “I have one question. Why are they not selecting other places for the international airport? Why are they particular that the airport be constructed in Aranmula? There are people with some mischievous aims. We want to expose them. These kind of motives are dangerous for the entire society.”
On where BJP stands in Kerala,
He believes that there has been a steady progress. “We are the only force which can compete with the LDF and UDF. We are not left or right, we are center. Ours is a party of straight policies and programmes. The communists claim that they are left and Congress claims to be right with regard to economic policies. People have begun to realise that LDF and UDF will not raise to their expectations. BJP intends to mobilize those people and counter them” he says.
The priorities of the next government
Kummanam believes that the next government should focus on agriculture, research and development in agriculture and focus on revamping the whole system in the labour field, education and trade and commerce.
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