At least three pre-poll surveys have predicted an edge for the CPI(M)-led LDF in Kerala but CM Oommen Chandy is unperturbed. Confident that the Congress-led UDF will rewrite poll history, Chandy spoke to HT about his performance, political future and the allegations against him.
You seem confident despite mounting charges against your government...
Wild allegations and mere rhetoric won’t pay anymore. My government has fulfilled most of the promises I made. Development with care was our guiding principle and we stuck to it. Many pre-poll surveys were wrong in the past so we are not worried.
Opposition LDF has also raised allegations against your family...
The Opposition tried to provoke me but I remained cool. In a democracy, anyone can raise allegations but you have to substantiate it with evidence. It seems the Opposition is scared of me so they are coming up with wild allegations.
From solar scam to bar-gate, you have to defend many charges.
Solar scam is a cheating case. The government never lost a single rupee. The accused used big names to cheat unsuspecting customers. When I came to know that some of my staff also helped them, I took action. I admit I wasn’t aware of the Saritha’s murky past. The bar bribery case is a conspiracy by some angry bar owners.
What will your poll plank be?
We will go to people with our government’s performance. We have projects such as the international airport in Kannur, a mother port in Vizhinjam, smart city and Metro in Kochi and proposed light metros in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. Youngsters are asking for better opportunities, not outdated slogans.
At least one-third of the constituencies will face a three-cornered fight...
Not true. The BJP can’t make much impact in Kerala. From beef ban to JNU, people are watching everything.
Will you be at the helm of affairs if UDF bounces back?
The Congress never projects a chief minister before polls. Our immediate aim is to fight the election united and bag maximum seats. Local body results have taught us that there is no room for complacency.