Munnar: Who first is the question both the LDF and UDF are facing in Devikulam.
Thanks to caste politics, both the Fronts are reluctant to announce their candidate first. The CPM is now waiting for its rival’s announcement, which might be made by late evening on Thursday.
Tamils, who constitute 62 per cent of the total electorate, have been representing Devikulam in the State Assembly. Among the majority electorate, voters from Pallar and Paraya communities have a bigger say in the poll outcome. The Pallar-Paraya divide is what has been worrying the CPM.
CPM has already shortlisted two candidates, R Eshwaran from the Pallar community, and A Raja from Parayas. One of them will get the ticket depending on the caste of the Congress candidate. UDF too has shortlisted two names from these two communities.
Meanwhile, BJP is in talks with ADMK, hoping to cash in on the latter’s influence over the Tamil population.
A deserving ticket to relatives
Thiruvananthapuram: The inclusion of relatives of leaders in the CPM list of candidates may make one frown, especially since the party’s proclaimed two-term norm has denied many another opportunity at the hustings.
A closer look, however, reveals a different picture. The said candidates seem to have earned the tickets through years of organizational or social work.
R Bindu, the CPM candidate in Irinjalakkuda, is the wife of A Vijayaraghavan, CPM’s acting secretary and LDF convener. A former SFI activist, she is a member of the party’s Thrissur district committee and had also served as the Mayor during 2005-2010.
The party’s candidate in Chavara, Dr V Sujith is the son of the late MLA N Vijayan Pillai. Though Chavara was given to CMP, Pillai had successfully contested as a Left-backed independent in 2016. CMP later merged with CPM, and the latter took over the seat.
K D Prasennan in Alathur is the grandson of CPM’s former MLA R Krishnan. He has a track record of being the district secretary of both SFI and DYFI.
The CPM candidate in Palakkad, C P Pramod, hails from a political family. While his father E Padmanabhan had represented Sreekrishnapuram in the State Assembly, his grandfather was the MLA from Malampuzha and also the party’s former district secretary.
Pramod is currently the state secretary of the Lawyers' Union. He was also the private secretary to minister A K Balan.
CPM has fielded DYFI national president P A Mohammad Riyas in Beypore. Riyas is Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s son-in-law.
Interestingly, CPM has also fielded a candidate with Congress links as its candidate. Shelna Nishad, who is seeking mandate from Aluva, is the daughter-in-law of former Congress MLA K Mohammed Ali.
In Kunnathunadu, CPM has given the party ticket to P V Sreenijin, son-in-law of former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan. He had earlier contested as a UDF candidate in Njarakkal.