There are fresh voices who want to be heard in public affairs. These groups are willing to forge new alliances and build new bridges for bettering the lives of people, who, they claim, have not been well served by established political parties.
One of the several organisations that have been formed in the run-up to local body elections in Ernakulam district is Chellanam 2020, comprising mostly young people, who believe that political initiatives should be people-centric.
“Ours is an organisation of people, who make their living working in various fields,” said Joseph Dileep, vice president of the organisation, governed by a core committee of 60 people. “None of us want to live on public service,” he said, adding that he worked for a private company.
“If the political fronts in the State had worked for the people and addressed their issues, the new formation would not be needed,” he said.
Pavizham Biju, president of Chellanam 2020, had said earlier that the organisation had nothing to do with a similar sounding formation that made history in Kizhakkambalam in 2015 when it won the majority to the panchayat council.
Mr. Dileep claimed that the new organisation was a commune of the “neglected”. “There is not a decent hospital within the 18-km stretch of Chellanam. There is not even a petrol pump or other basic amenities,” he said, pointing to what he called the perennial neglect of the panchayat.
Chellanam 2020 will field candidates in all the 21 wards of the panchayat. Half of the wards have already selected their candidates. Besides, the formation would have candidates for the district panchayat seat as well as five block panchayat divisions, he said.
The coastal village of Chellanam has been in the news for the severe sea erosion in the area. Hundreds of homes face the threat of sea incursion and heavy sea waves. There has been a series of protest actions by the villagers, mostly highlighted since Cyclone Okhi hit the shores in December 2017.