High Range Samrakshana Samithi plans to field its own candidate in the Lok Sabha election from Idukki constituency

In a bid to put pressure on the Congress to abandon the K. Kasturirangan committee report on Western Ghats, the High Range Samrakshana Samithi has plans to field a candidate of its own in the coming Lok Sabha election from the Idukki constituency.

More than its concerns over the possible grievances of settler farmers in the region once the committee report is implemented, the Samithi with Idukki Bishop Mathew Anikuzhikattil as patron is keen on keeping sitting MP P.T. Thomas out of the fray. By choosing to field its own candidate, the Samithi has joined the growing rank of non-traditional players on view in Kerala this election season.

Apart from the Samithi, the other non-traditional formations contesting the election is a faction of the Kerala Pulayar Maha Sabha (KPMS) led by T.V. Babu. The Dalit outfit had conducted a massive rally in Kochi with the participation of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. It had got an assurance from the BJP leadership that its leader Mr. Babu would be fielded from the Mavelikara constituency as KPMS candidate. Another Dalit leader T.V. Velayudhan will contest as BJP candidate from the Chalakudy constituency. The rival faction of the KPMS led by Punnala Sreekumar has already started working with the Congress.

The Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha led by C.K. Janu will not contest this election but will support Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates in all the Lok Sabha constituencies. Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) of the Islamic outfit Popular Front of India will field candidates in all the 20 seats. ‘‘As far as the AAP is concerned, there are a large number of political and social organisations backing us in this election. Even those who are representing endosulfan victims and those who are engaged in the Plachimada agitation are supporting the party. We are evolving as a platform of social movements,’’ says Sara Joseph, writer and AAP candidate in Thrissur.

More In: Kochi | Kerala | National