Alappuzha: For voters in the coastal Alappuzha district, next month's Kerala Assembly Election would be unlike the ones in the recent past. Former chief minister V S Achuthanandan and state ministers Dr Thomas Isaac and G Sudhakaran who were regulars in the electoral fray from different constituencies here on behalf of the CPM would not be making another bid to be the Member of the Legislative Assembly. The CPM candidate list to be published next week would make clear if the latter two are spared of the party bar on consecutive electoral contests.
V S Achuthanandan, who is in the late 90s, will be missed in electoral battleground though his absence was on expected lines. Earlier he had an overwhelming presence in Alappuzha even as he won several times from the Malampuzha assembly constituency far north.
Isaac's victory run to end?
The Aril 6 state polls would be the first elections in two decades when the incumbent Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac won't be a candidate. Dr Isaac had entered the assembly at first as a representative of Mararikulam, the constituency notorious for giving a shock defeat to LDF's chief ministerial candidate Achuthanandan in 1996. Isaac, who started his victory run defeating P J Francis who had trounced VS, in all won four consecutive elections and became minister twice. In between his constituency was renamed as Alappuzha.
Sudhakaran's chequered career
Sudhakaran, the Minister for Public Works, made his electoral debut from Kuttanad way back in 1982. He started off with a defeat. In 1987, he lost again from Ambalapuzha, but in 1996 he tasted success from the Kayamkulam seat. He again lost in the 2001 polls and even blamed his own party for sabotaging his chances.
From 2006 onwards he has won three consecutive terms from Ambalapuzha and became a minister twice.
During this four-decade period, he stayed out of electoral arena only in 1991. At that time he won the first district council elections and became the president of the Alappuzha District Panchayat Council.
Sudhakaran and Isaac had held the party in Alappuzha district together but as two factions for many years. It is just a coincidence that VS who remained in the midst of the two leaders is out of electoral politics for the first time in 30 years.
Rivals now eye a chance
So far the United Democratic Front had viewed Ambalapuzha and Alappuzha as "not so safe" constituencies. However, a few from this opposition camp now fancy their chances as CPM stalwarts are set to vacate their bastions, Ambalapuzha and Alappuzha.