Two former councillors re-enter fray in new avatars

Sunitha Dixon  

After raising the banner of revolt in their political parties and waiting in the sidelines for years, two former councillors of Kochi Corporation have re-entered the electoral arena, but under new political patronage.

While M.P. Maheshkumar, a former CPI(M) councillor from Kunnumpuram division, parted ways with his comrades to join his rival camp, the Congress, Sunitha Dixon, the former representative of Vyttila division, contested the last election against the UDF. In her latest political move, Ms. Dixon has entered the contest in Vyttila division as the candidate of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), a constituent of the UDF.

This time, Mr. Maheshkumar is contesting the civic polls from Kunnumpuram division as a Congress candidate in its election symbol palm, in the company of those whom he defeated in the 2010 election. He had then defeated Youth Congress leader M.R. Abhilash by a margin of 486 votes.

“It was the difference of opinion with some senior party leaders in the district over organisational and other issues that resulted in the political break-up. Now, Congress workers are fully backing me up in the election, including Mr. Abhilash whom I defeated earlier,” said Mr. Maheshkumar.

Serious battle

Taking the political battle seriously against their former comrade, the CPI(M) has fielded sitting councillor Jagathambika Sudarsan to retain the Kunnumpuram seat. The division, says Ms. Sudarsan, has been the stronghold of the LDF since 2005. “As the LDF candidate, I am seeking the mandate on the strength of the development activities undertaken in the division during the past five years. The party machinery is functioning full-throttle in the division,” said Ms. Sudarsan.

T.K. Hanitha Kumar is the NDA candidate in the division. Considering her rapport with voters, the UDF leadership has asked Ms. Dixon to contest from the Vyttila division as a candidate of the Revolutionary Socialist Party in its election symbol, spade and stoker.

Protest in party

“Last time, I contested as an Independent candidate after being denied the ticket and garnered 826 votes. The decision of the Congress not to field any party worker from the division led to widespread protest in the party,” said Ms. Dixon who is still an office-bearer of the Mahila Congress, the women’s wing of the party and the trade union INTUC.

“We didn’t get time to discuss those organisational issues, and hence I am continuing in the posts,” said Ms. Dixon when asked about her posts in the Mahila Congress and the INTUC.

The LDF has fielded P.S. Ambika, a palliative care volunteer, as its candidate to retain the Vyttila division, which P.S. Shine had won for the party last time. The NDA has not fielded any candidates in the division.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 1:15:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/two-former-councillors-re-enter-fray-in-new-avatars/article33196669.ece

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