Ariff launches campaign in Alappuzha by seeking blessings from sidelined comrade Sudhakaran

G Sudhakaran offered his blessings to A M Ariff when the LDF candidate visited him at his house at Kalarkode in Alappuzha on Thursday. Photos: Special arrangement

Alappuzha: In a bid to send out a message to the rank and file and public that there is no dissension in the CPM ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, A M Ariff, the LDF candidate in the Alappuzha constituency, launched his official campaign by seeking the blessings of sidelined CPM leader G Sudhakaran.

Sudhakaran reciprocated in equal ‘traditional’ measure, blessing Ariff by placing his hand over the head of the sitting MP of Alappuzha as the latter called on Sudhakaran at his home near Kalarkode here.

“I have never placed my hand over the head of anyone to bless him/her. I’m now doing so because of my love and affection for Ariff,” Ariff quoted Sudhakaran as saying in a Facebook post on Thursday.

The bonhomie comes after strained relations between the two during Sudhakaran’s tenure as MLA and Minister from Alappuzha. The last Assembly elections saw Sudhakaran being sidelined, and he revolted and faced action later. This time, too, he has not been accommodated by the official faction, but the strongman seems disciplined to a great measure.

Sudhakaran also exhorted the people in the district through his Facebook account on Thursday to return Ariff, who, according to him, had brilliant innings in the Parliament the past five years.

Ariff in his Facebook post recalled his “salad days” with Sudhakaran as a young leader of SFI when the latter was the Kerala University Syndicate member. “I was a Senate member then. When honorable comrade G Sudhakaran used to go to the Syndicate meeting, he took me along. During the travel, he used to buy me puttu and pappad for breakfast from a small hotel in Kayamkulam. Years rolled by. When the District Council elections came in 1991, he supported my candidature from the Arookkutty Division and gave the right guidance for my success in that election. In the Assembly elections in 2006, 2011, and 2016 too, he gave enough support for my success,” Ariff recalled, while adding that Sudhakaran piloted his campaign in the last Lok Sabha election as well.

The sitting MP said he owed a lot and has deep love and respect for the senior leader for his support in his organizational life as well as the public life. “I am sure his blessings will be a big asset for my success this time,” he said.

Sudhakaran, while delineating the political journey of Ariff from his student days, said in his post that he still remembered, as the Alappuzha District Council chairman, the interventions and speeches made by Ariff in the council. He highlighted the love of the people of Aroor for Ariff, who even defeated a stalwart like K R Gowri to romp home to the Assembly from Aroor.

The veteran leader and former PWD Minister also recalled the efforts made by Ariff in realizing the long-cherished dream of the Perumbalam bridge worth Rs 100 crore during the tenure of the first Pinarayi Ministry when he held the PWD Department.

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