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THRISSUR

PTI | ByUsha Rammanohar, Press Trust of India, Thrissur, Kerala
May 04, 2004 08:23 PM IST

The cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur, is all set to witness a straight fight between Congress sitting MP AC Jose and CPI's CK Chandrappan. Congress-led UDF's Jose is wooing the electorate with promises kept, hoping that he would be given another term.

The cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur, is all set to witness a straight fight between Congress sitting MP AC Jose and CPI's CK Chandrappan.

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Congress-led UDF's Jose is wooing the electorate with promises kept, hoping that he would be given another term.

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The UDF campaign, which had been initially sluggish, is expected to pick up momentum in the coming days, with national and state leaders flocking to Thrissur.

Jose has already started his third round of campaigning, with at least 150 public meetings being planned in the final phase of campaigning, party sources said.

The LDF candidate from the constituency is CPI leader CK Chandrappan, who has finished the third round of campaigning. The LDF planned to hold at least 900 minor public meetings, besides rallies, 'Jathas' and cultural shows, party sources said.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was also in Thrissur to address party cadres, while CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan is also expected to address a couple of meetings here on May 5.

UDF is harping on the need to put in place a Congress-led secular front Government at the Centre. Jose also does not forget to remind his listeners at corner meetings that the Left is supporting Congress at the national level and hence the fight in Kerala was irrelevant.

According to Jose, he has spent over 90 per cent of the development fund alloted, executed telecom schemes worth Rs 70 crore, implemented drinking water supply projects worth Rs 3.5 crore, improved facilities at Thrissur railway station, was instrumental in setting up a Doordarshan production centre in the district and a reading room-cum library at the Viyyur central jail.

About 25 per cent of the electorate belong to the Christian community, which could work to the advantage of the sitting MP. The UDF would also corner Muslim votes from the Guruvayur-Nattika Manalur belt, party sources added.

The infighting in a section of the Congress is also giving sleepless nights to Jose, who is hoping that it would not affect his prospects.

The LDF campaign is highlighting the local issues like drinking water shortage, problems in the agricultural sector etc. Five 'Kudumbayogams' (meetings) are being held in every booth.

The BJP-NDA candidate is PS Sreeraman. Undeterred by the presence of his rivals, he is wooing Hindu voters of this constituency, which is home to the two famous shrines - Lord Krishna temple at Guruvayur and the Vadukkunathan temple at Thrissur.

In the 1999 election, Jose had denied then sitting MP VV Raghavan (CPI) a hat-rick of wins by defeating him by 11,632 votes. Raghavan had in 1996 humbled senior Congress leader K Karunakaran from the constituency by 1480 votes. In the 1998 polls, Karunakaran's son K Muraleedharan had to taste defeat at the hands of Raghavan by a margin of over 18,000 votes.

Of total electorate of 9,77,983, women constitute 5,19,106.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!
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