Thiruvananthapuram

In Kerala's Attingal Palace ward, candidates of all three fronts are from the same family

No conflicts:(clockwise from top left) LDF candidate in thePalace ward S. Girija , UDF candidate Sunitha Sivakumar, and BJP nominee Girija G. have been campaigning hard. They keep the personal separate from the political.  

The local body elections are a family affair in the Palace ward of the Attingal municipality. Sunitha Sivakumar, the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate in the ward, is pitted against her close relatives here. One is her sister-in-law and the other her maternal aunt, both of whom incidentally share the same first name.

While Sunitha’s husband’s sister S. Girija is the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate, her mother’s younger sister Girija G. is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate. Interestingly, all three are contesting elections for the first time in the ward, which has sided with the UDF in the past couple of polls.

In Kerala's Attingal Palace ward, candidates of all three fronts are from the same family
 

While going up against family members can be a tricky affair, all three women are clear that their personal and political lives are separate. Says Sunitha, “Yes, we are in three parties and have different ideologies, but we don’t have any problems between us. Within the family, there is no politics.”

S. Girija too says they do not talk politics when they meet up. Girija G. says she shares a warm relationship with her niece, and when they meet the talk does briefly drift to how the other is faring on the campaign front.

All three are hopeful of a win in the ward that is reserved for Scheduled Caste women.

While Sunitha does not have much political involvement to speak of, she is a Kudumbashree member. Her aunt Girija was not too long ago a Left follower who after a couple of disappointments with the party decisions joined the BJP.

In Kerala's Attingal Palace ward, candidates of all three fronts are from the same family

S. Girija’s loyalties have been with the CPI(M) and she is glad to have got the opportunity to contest the polls this time.

On women’s presence

The three feel encouraged by the increasing presence of women in the political arena. There is nothing that women cannot do, says Sunitha, highlighting the number of women candidates put up by her party. Her sister-in-law Girija feels that women should come forward and interact with the wider society through the platform of politics. Girija G. says that win or lose, development of the ward is her goal.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 10:30:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/family-rules-in-palace-ward/article33188877.ece

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