DakhinPanthi News

Election Fever Continues In The South

E Sreedharan – Photo: CurrentHunt



Who hasn’t heard of E Sreedharan – the Metro-man? He is credited with changing the face of public transport in India with his leadership in building the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro while he served as the managing director of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) between 1995 and 2012.

The 88-year-old Metro-man is contesting legislative assembly elections from the Palakkad constituency in Kerala. His main opponent is the incumbent MLA Shafi Parambil of the Indian National Congress who has won this seat for two consecutive terms.

“BJP will have an impressive show this time, there is no doubt about it. I will win from the Palakkad constituency with a big margin. My entry into BJP has given a different image to the party,” E Sreedharan said. He is so sure of his win that he has already opened his MLA office in this city.

Palakkad district Congress committee president and Lok Sabha member VK Sreekandan said the seat would be retained by Congress’ Shafi Parambil.

“It is good that E Sreedharan is opening an office because many railway projects are about to happen in Palakkad, and it will need an office to lead the projects,” said V.K Sreekandan.

The BJP state President K Surendran had gone to the extent of declaring Sreedharan as BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate. Out of the 140 assembly seats, currently, BJP has only one MLA.

Better sense prevailed on the BJP Central leadership who retracted from the statement. Union Minister V Muraleedharan said –

What I wanted to say that through media reports I learned that the party has made this announcement. Later, I crossed checked with the party chief who said that he has not made any such announcement,”

E Sreedharan is all set to taste the political pie now. But why all this at an age of 88?


We are all waiting eagerly for the election results for Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Puducherry. Here is a ready tracker for the assembly elections.


Nagarjuna Sagar, Telangana ByPoll

The Nagarjuna Sagar assembly seat by-poll will be held on April 17, 2021. The election was necessitated due to the demise of Nagarjuna Sagar MLA Nomula Narsimhaiah in December last year.

The election campaign has been converted into a high-intensity TRS-BJP face-off. There were 78 nominations filed, however, after the withdrawals and scrutiny, 41 candidates are let in the fray. Chief electoral officer Dr. Shashank Goel said 27 of the 41 candidates in the fray are independents and the remaining 14 candidates represent various political parties.

The Congress has fielded its former minister and seven-time legislator K. Jana Reddy while the ruling TRS nominated Nomula Bhagat Kumar, son of the deceased TRS MLA. BJP fielded Dr. Panugothu Ravi while Arun Kumar Muwa is contesting on a TDP ticket and Noorjahan Begum on an AIMIM party ticket.

BJP rebel candidate Nivedita Reddy has filed her nominations as an independent.

While BJP is leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters, the Telangana Chief Minister has announced on April 15th that he will take a victory lap around Nagarjuna Sagar.


DMK Wanted Prime Minster to Campaign For Their Rivals

Prime Minster’s campaign in Tamil Nadu seemed to be an utter failure. The speeches were out of context and listless. The English to Tamil translation also added to the underperformances. In fact, none of the BJP central leaders were able to deliver anything meaningful to the local audiences. The absence of strong local leadership continues to haunt BJP aspirations in the south.

The PM was in for a surprise when DMK candidates started requesting him to campaign for their rivals.

“Dear Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, please campaign for Mr. MageshKumar. P, AIADMK alliance Candidate. I am the DMK candidate in the Kanchipuram constituency against him and it will be very useful in widening my winning margin. Thank you, sir. @narendramodi” tweeted sitting MLA C.V.M.P. Ezhilarasan, who is contesting the 2021 poll from Kanchipuram.

By the way, there is a good book to learn Tamil rapidly, in case you regret not having learned Tamil. It is available on Amazon India –




Kochi & It’s Inland Water Transport

This of you have visited Kochi would not have failed to notice the extensive usage of boats for inland transportation. Waterways have always been an important mode of transport in Kerala. The total length of the navigable route in Kerala was 1,900 kilometers and the navigable rivers constitute about 54 percent of the waterways. The 41 West-flowing rivers together with the backwaters are an integrated part of the inland navigation system in Kerala.

The service is excellent and dependable. In June 2020, in a heart-warming gesture, a 70-seater boat of the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) was sent to ferry a lone passenger, a 17-year-old student, to enable her to appear for the plus one examination (11th standard) on two days last month in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The State Water Transport Department has been running scheduled water ferry services using a variety of boats. They have recently introduced the ‘Water Taxi’ which can be hailed by customers just like a radio taxi.

The KOCHI WATER METRO is a new project conceptualized by the present LDF government in 2016. The project is funded through a loan of Rs 819.27 Crores from the Germany-based KFW Development Bank.

The project obtained the final environment clearance in Oct 2019, and its first phase completed in 2021. On 15 February 2021 Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated its first route between Vytilla and InfoPark constructed under Phase I of the project.


Kochi Water Metro Proposed Route Map

A total of 15 routes are planned using 78 special metro boats. Kochi Water Metro will be fully integrated with Koch Metro making it a first of its kind in India.

According to Wikipedia – As part of the infrastructure, the Intelligent Navigation System and Operation Control Centre (OCC) are also proposed and will be integrated with the city’s intelligent transportation system. The Automatic Fare Collection system being implemented by the Kochi Metro will be extended to a water transport system that facilitates traveling the metro train and the boat using the same ticket.

Further details can be found on

Or you may watch the video

DakhinPanthi News


Edition 3 April 3, 2021

The Election Action in the South


Election time in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry – at present the stormy political playground of the South. The heat is on. Here is a summary of all the action.

All three states go to poll on April 6, 2021 in a single phase. The results will be out on May 2, 2021. There are 234 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 seats in Kerala and Puducherry UT has 30 seats, a total of 405 assembly seats. These seats are spread over a combined area of 169,398 Sq. km. Compare that with polling in West Bengal where the voting for 294 assembly seats is in eight phases spread over a month (March 27 – April 29, 2021). Area of West Bengal is 88,750 Sq. Km.

Since the election process is in progress, we cannot to speculate about the election results. Here are the snapshots of the three states as a ready reference.

May the best man/lady win.

Tamil Nadu



Election Talk by famous personalities –

Prime Minster Narendra Modi in Kerala – “LDF betrayed Kerala for a few pieces of gold like Judas did.”

Joyce George, former MP CPI(M) on Rahul Gandhi – Gandhi would visit only women’s colleges and the girls should be “cautious” while dealing with the former Congress President. “Girls never bend down in front of him.. he is an unmarried trouble maker.” His comments were deplored all round including the Chief Minister who said that “We will oppose him politically, not personally.” George later apologized for his comments.

Rahul Gandhi – “Recently, I was talking to some students in the United States and I said that I really enjoy going to Kerala and really I love going to Wayanad. It’s not just the affection, because affection of course is there, but it’s the way you do your politics.”

Amit Shah – “I am sad that I cannot talk to you in Tamil that is one of the oldest and sweetest languages of India. I seek your forgiveness.”



While on the southern election trip, let’s talk about Wayanad – one of the most scenic and beautiful places in the Nilgiris.

If you wish to drive down, it’s a three-and-a-half-hour journey from Mysore covering 125 km. The area also boasts of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Mudumalai forests. A detour to see these places would be worth the effort and time. The nearest airport is Kozhikode.

I would prefer the monsoon season when incessant rains add a mystic beauty to the hilly forests. The beauty of Wayanad is endless and one can easily spend couple of weeks in the hills. The region is full of lakes and water falls.

We leave you with some stunning photos from Wayanad.

Phantom Rock – Image:
Image: The Better India