Kochi: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan celebrated his 77th birthday on Tuesday seeking votes for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the bypolls at Thrikkakara in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Pinarayi arrived in Kochi on Sunday for the campaign and will be here till Friday.
Incidentally, Pinarayi’s birthday as per official records is on March 21. However, on the eve of the swearing in of his first ministry in 2016, Pinarayi had revealed that he was born on May 24, 1945.
A grand entry
Pinarayi’s campaign meetings are high-octane events involving loud revolutionary songs, slogan-shouting by supporters and the marked presence of red volunteers. Amid this scene, the Chief Minister reaches the stage as thousands of mobile cameras focus on him. The visuals soon spread through social media with suitable background music.
This is the Chief Minister’s third round of campaigning at Thrikkakara, which he has considered a prestige battle. On his first visit to Kochi as part of the byelection, Pinarayi had left after inaugurating the election convention.
During his second visit, the Chief Minister spent a week in Kochi taking stock of the campaigning. However, on his latest visit, Pinarayi is personally leading the battle.
Over these five days, Pinarayi would be attending five public meetings. The event held at Poonithura reveals how everything is planned and executed.
Soon after reaching the stage, Pinarayi started his 45-minute speech, which dealt with the sole topic – development. Pinarayi carefully chose his words and divided his speech into two parts. Initially, he spoke about those who favoured development. In the second section of the speech, the Chief Minister launched a scathing attack on those who opposed progress. His main target was the Congress party, which he blamed for delaying several major projects.
“During its rule, the Congress did not take any decision on the national highway development. Consequently, the state had to share half the cost of land acquisition, which caused an additional expenditure of Rs 5,000 crore,” he said.
Pinarayi also explained the various developmental projects in Kochi such as Metro, Water Metro, Infopark, rejuvenation of six canals, city gas project, Kochi-Edamon power highway and solving the flooding issues.
When Pinarayi concluded his speech urging voters to choose the LDF candidate Dr Jo Joseph, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran began walking to the mike. At the same moment, the Chief Minister’s official vehicle moved to the space below the dais. However, Pinarayi returned to his seat on the stage and remained there as Kanam spoke. When Kanam’s speech was over, Pinarayi boarded his vehicle and left.
LDF leaders Jose K Mani and K B Ganesh Kumar took the stage next to explain the political significance of their captain’s speech.