MP Shashi Tharoor is facing a tough triangular battle in Thiruvananthapuram constituency post the Sabarimala agitation. The BJP, Tharoor’s main opposition in the seat, is hoping to make an electoral victory and sees Thiruvananthapuram as their best chance. The Left Front has also fielded senior leader, former minister and sitting MLA C Divakaran into the poll fray.
With Sabarimala as one of the major issues this election in Thiruvananthapuram, Tharoor is hoping for a mandate, the third time in a row. During his campaigns, he asks people to vote for him based on the work he has done in the constituency over the past 10 years. During his campaigns, he is seen to draw a large crowd including youngsters and the elderly.
At the BJP camp, former state president and former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajashekaran is in the election fray. Kummanam during his campaigns promised people that their traditions and beliefs will be protected.
“Irrespective of caste, creed or religion all are worried. Now it is in Sabarimala tomorrow it could be the mosque of the church. the interference of a secular government in a temple or church is not at all tolerable. Sabarimala is an issue for the people,” he said.
Shashi Tharoor, on the other hand, said that Congress is the only party that has stood by believers and tried to find a solution to their problem by filing a review petition in the Supreme Court.
Tharoor said, “The fact is that despite being in power BJP has done nothing. there are only two ways in which you can undo an SC order, one is through judicial review and other through bring in law or ordinance. BJP was in power they did not do one of this and now they Calum they are with beleivers. They have not done anything to find a solution to this issue and only trying to take political benefits out of this”.
The fight has become tougher in Thiruvananthapuram as the Left Front has also fielded one of their senior leaders, a former minister and sitting MLA, C Divakaran of the CPI. Divakaran’s campaign speaks of him working with the people for the past 40 years.
“State government was it implementing a government order. The BJP and the UDF is trying to get political benefits out of it. We have to focus on the development that we can get into the constituency. In the past 10 years, nothing much has happened. ”
However, the Sabarimala issue is not the only agenda for the people of Thiruvananthapuram. They have several other grievances and issues in their mind when they go out to vote this time. The coastal area spread across four assembly constituencies comprises a major chunk of the electorate and they are concerned about the lack of basic facilities like drinking water.
A fisherman from Vizhinjam said “Our biggest trouble is drinking water, we are not getting water. We have to buy a pot of drinking water for Rs six. During summer it is very difficult. We have a pipe, the water coming is not of good quality we can use it only for bathing or washing clothes. ”
Other concerns include quality education, lack of jobs, the after-effects of demonitisation and the hike in petrol/diesel prices. Thiruvananthapuram has a long pending demand of an HC bench here and an AIIMS like institute.
Richin, a student told News18 “I am an engineering student. There is a lack of jobs here. I am very much afraid about my career, many engineers are pass out from different colleges without jobs.”
A vegetable vendor said, “Our problem is that post demonetization we have very little sales, our situation is really bad. Very few people are coming to the markets.”
Congress claims that they are the only party that is raising the issue of jobs in comparison to the BJP government which came to power promising more jobs. Although Tharoor won from the constituency last time by a margin of about 15,000 votes, May 23 will decide if he wins or loses this time