Palakkad Lok Sabha constituency is currently witness to the scorcher of a contest, involving all the three major players in Kerala’s political arena.

A traditional Left bastion, Palakkad has undergone major changes in its political complexion following the constituency delimitation in 2009. In the last Lok Sabha elections, held after the delimitation, incumbent M.B. Rajesh of the CPI (M) could only squeak past his rivals by a slender margin of 1,820 votes, a free fall from the massive victory margin of near one lakh votes scored by his party colleague N.N. Krishnadas in 2004.

This time round, he is pitted against Samajwadi Janata (Democratic) State president M.P. Veerendra Kumar and BJP’s firebrand woman leader Sobha Surendran, among others. Factionalism has been a headache for the CPI(M) in Palakkad for long with many supporters of party veteran V.S. Achuthanandan getting marginalised.