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'Modi's Speech Is A Response To Congress Obsession With Vote Bank Politics'

Last updated on: May 02, 2024 11:25 IST
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'The Congress wants to distort the very fabric of Indian society because they are obsessed with vote bank politics.'

IMAGE: Clearly tired after a punishing six weeks in blistering heat on the campaign trail, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Thiruvananthpuram Lok Sabha seat, at his rented apartment in Thiruvanathapuram, April 24, 2024. Photograph and Videos: Archana Masih for

The small lobby of the apartment block where Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been camping for weeks is crowded with media crew.

It is the day before polling and Mr Chandrasekhar -- the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for Thiruvanathapuram -- is giving short interviews to television channels channel one by one. Dressed in a navy blue kurta with a white party lotus and a crisp white mundu, he patiently answers questions in Malayalam as motorists passing by catch a glimpse of him as they drive past.

There are no BJP banners, just a lone car with a small BJP flag on the bonnet is parked outside. Two-three people stand near the car and if the media crews weren't there, one would not know that this is the residence of one of the most high profile candidates in the fray in Kerala.

A Rajya Sabha MP since 2006, this is Mr Chandrasekhar's first foray into Lok Sabha electoral politics and he has spent the last 45 days travelling through the constituency. In the sweltering April heat, he has been meeting people and telling them that he has solutions for their problems and to give him a chance this time since they have already given opportunities to Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor thrice and the CPI's Pannyan Raveendran once.

When Thiruvanathapuram votes on April 26, Mr Chandrasekhar will not be pressing that button on the EVM as he is registered as a voter in Bengaluru, where he lives with his wife Anju and chidren Ved and Devika. Instead, he will begin polling day by visiting the Vettukud Church, the Sri Padmanabha Swamy and Pazhavangadi Sree Maha Ganapati temples before visiting polling booths.

A day before Election Day, he meets two young women from his social media team who want to wish him luck before leaving the city. He graciously thanks them and takes pictures with them before bidding them goodbye.

He then sits down for an engaging and interesting conversation with's Archana Masih and Nikhil Lakshman. The first of a two-part interview:

On running a clean and different campaign:


Why the BJP will open its account in Kerala:


How Narendra Modi has reimagined our ambition as a people and country


On whether there will be curbs on freedom in Modi 3.0:


On Modi's speech about the Congress wanting to redistribute wealth to Muslims:



Videos edited by Rajesh Karkera/
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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