Interview: BJP projecting candidates as Union ministers won’t pay off, says VS Sunil Kumar in Thrissur

The outcome of the Lok Sabha election in the Thrissur constituency in Kerala is among the most anticipated results in the upcoming polls.

ByDileep V Kumar

Published Apr 22, 2024 | 8:59 AMUpdatedApr 22, 2024 | 9:01 AM

VS Sunli Kumar.

The outcome of the Lok Sabha election in the Thrissur constituency in Kerala is among the most anticipated results in the upcoming polls.

The BJP’s concentrated efforts to make its Lok Sabha debut from Kerala and the frequent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the constituency puts it in the limelight.

In Thrissur, a three-cornered fight is being expected. The UDF sprang a surprise, replacing sitting MP TN Prathapan with K Muraleedharan, who represented Vadakara in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

The LDF is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to recapture the constituency as it pitched former state agriculture minister VS Sunilkumar of the CPI.

The Left alliance aims to leverage his familiarity with the region and his track record in governance to sway votes in its favour.

The NDA has turned to actor-politician Suresh Gopi to register a win.

During his campaigning in the constituency, South First caught up with Sunil Kumar for a quick chat at Puthukkad on 16 April.

Ground Report: A political thriller unfolds in Thrissur Lok Sabha seat

Excerpts from the interview

Q: What’s the ground situation in Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency?

A strong fight is in Thrissur. What I perceived from the ground is that electorates are in favour of the LDF. Also, they have accepted the political viewpoints and the issues raised by the Left.

Q: What is the focus of the political campaign of LDF?

First and foremost, we are highlighting how important this election is to the very existence of our nation. We mainly highlight the BJP’s political corruption and its aggressive measures in the last 10 years to make India a Hindu nation.

We try to make the voters understand how the BJP is disrupting the secular and democratic values of the nation, with facts and figures. We are also making them aware of how the BJP policies are helping the corporates and how the common people are affected.

Issues like electoral bonds, the price hikes of LPG and fuel, privatisation of public sector units, and corporate-RSS alliance are being discussed with voters.

Q: Do you think the Congress is strong enough to counter the BJP?

The Congress is yet to grow as a reliable alternative to counter the challenges posed by the BJP against the secular and democratic values of the nation as it lost its credibility.

The grand-old party is yet to take a strong stance on issues like the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019. We see that either they dilute their stance or keep stoic silence.

Also, the party is not different from the BJP. Consider the case of electoral bonds, it had also accepted money from corporates.

As we all witnessed in Wayanad, it fears to display the flag of one of its key allies, the Indian Union Muslim League. What it shows is its lack of ability or confidence to counter the anti-Muslim propaganda or anti-minority propaganda raised by the BJP-RSS.

Also, it didn’t make any effort to convince people about this issue, through effective campaigning. Congress wanting the votes of the Muslim League and not displaying the latter’s flag highlights its duplicity.

What we saw in Wayanad is just a reflection of the Congress’ duplicity at the national level.

Q: Will the BJP’s projection of Suresh Gopi as a Union minister, if elected, influence voters?

At every Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP projects the candidates as possible Union ministers. It’s not going to pay off.

The people will realise their hollowness. He (Suresh Gopi) was a Rajya Sabha MP. At that time, the BJP didn’t make him a Union minister. This tactic of the BJP is not going to influence the voters.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)