Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Confident of BJP's Chances in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram Constituency

BJP confident of winning Thiruvananthapuram seat in Kerala, citing development focus and financial woes of state govt. Union Minister Chandrasekhar calls for conditions on central funds to Kerala to ensure timely payment of salaries and pensions.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Confident of BJP's Chances in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram Constituency

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Confident of BJP's Chances in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram Constituency

In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar expressed confidence in the BJP's prospects of winning the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, where the party has never secured a seat before. Chandrasekhar, who serves as the Union Minister for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Electronics, and IT, believes that the BJP's emphasis on development, progress, jobs, investment, and skilling will resonate with the residents of Thiruvananthapuram.

The minister highlighted the lack of progress in the constituency under the previous CPI and Congress representatives. He attributed the BJP's past failures to the "deep fake propaganda" and "fear-mongering" tactics employed by the rival LDF and UDF alliances. However, Chandrasekhar asserted that the narrative is shifting as people recognize that the Modi government has governed without discrimination.

Chandrasekhar argued that his position as a Union Minister does not automatically enhance his chances of winning. Instead, he emphasized the BJP's focus on performance-based politics, in contrast to the empty promises made by other parties. The minister expressed confidence that the BJP will finally secure a Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, citing the various central government schemes and benefits that have reached the people of Thiruvananthapuram, as opposed to the "bankrupt" state government.

Why this matters: The BJP's efforts to make inroads in Kerala, a state traditionally dominated by the Left and Congress parties, could have significant implications for the political landscape in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. A victory in Thiruvananthapuram would mark a major milestone for the BJP and potentially reshape the political dynamics in the state.

Chandrasekhar also called upon the central government to impose conditions on any future funds or special funds allocated to the Kerala government, mandating that the salaries of state employees and pensions be paid on time. He drew attention to the financial turmoil in Kerala, where over 3.5 lakh government employees went unpaid in March 2024. The minister criticized the CPI(M) government, stating that pensioners have not received their dues for several months. Chandrasekhar emphasized the urgent need to prioritize the utilization of central funds for salaries, pensions, and other benefits owed to government employees, particularly KSRTC pensioners who have been deprived of their payments for an extended period. He underscored the dire financial disorder in Kerala and the necessity of addressing the state's fiscal strategies, citing observations from the Reserve Bank and the Supreme Court.

Key Takeaways

  • BJP confident of winning Thiruvananthapuram LS seat, a first for the party in Kerala
  • BJP cites development, jobs, and skilling as key factors to win over voters
  • Chandrasekhar criticizes previous CPI and Congress representatives for lack of progress
  • Chandrasekhar calls for central funds to be tied to timely payment of state employee salaries
  • Kerala's financial turmoil, with over 3.5 lakh unpaid state employees and delayed pensions