‘Sreedharan’s entry ‘gimmick’, BJP to remain marginal in Kerala’

New Delhi, Feb 28 (PTI):
Terming technocrat E Sreedharan’s entry into the BJP a “gimmick”, Congress’ Kerala in-charge Tariq Anwar on Sunday said it would be a direct fight between the UDF and the ruling LDF in the upcoming assembly polls as the people will not “waste” their votes on the BJP which will remain a marginal player in the state.
The Congress general secretary also asserted that it was not the party’s tradition to announce a chief ministerial face and after polls the name of the CM candidate will be arrived at through consensus.
In an interview with PTI, Anwar exuded confidence that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) would form the next government in Kerala and stated that the main issue in polls would be the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s “corruption and mismanagement” in the last five years.
“The results will be in UDF’s favour. People had given mandate to the LDF last time but their performance in the last five years has not been good and three-four scandals have also been unearthed recently in which even the CPI(M) office has come under suspicion,” the AICC in-charge Kerala said.
Talking about other issues that would hurt the LDF’s chances in the upcoming polls, Anwar said recently an MoU signed with an American firm has created a lot of dissatisfaction among fishermen and so has the “mismanagement” of COVID-19.
“Conditions are in favour of the UDF as there is strong anti-incumbency of the five years,” the former Union minister said, adding that corruption and mismanagement will be the main issues in the assembly polls.
The LDF government had said it had done great work during COVID-19 and the health system is very good, but the way the cases are rising all its claims have been proven wrong, Anwar said.
Asked about ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan’s entry into the BJP and its impact on the polls, he said, “I don’t think it will have much of an impact because he may be a good technocrat but he does not have much of a rapport with the public.”
“The people of Kerala are very politically conscious and I don’t think suddenly bringing up a name would make much of a difference,” he asserted.
Talking about the BJP’s big ticket launch of the 88-year-old technocrat, Anwar claimed the BJP always uses such tactics as it does not have a strong leadership in Kerala.
The BJP’s presence is minuscule, so they want to make their presence felt by such “gimmicks”, he said, adding that the saffron party will remain a marginal player in the state.

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