Kerala

Vadakara: a prestigious battleground

K. Muraleedharan plans to launch campaign from Vadakara today

With the entry of K. Muraleedharan into the electoral scene, the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency has become a prestigious battleground for both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Malabar.

After its initial indecision, the Congress chose Mr. Muraleedharan, the Vattiyoorkavu MLA, to take on former CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan, who had launched his campaign even before the poll dates were announced. The candidature of Mr. Muraleedharan has set the tone for a political fight between the Congress and the CPI(M) in the constituency spread across Kannur (Thalassery and Koothuparamba Assembly segments) and Kozhikdoe (Vadakara, Nadapuram, Kuttiyadi, Koyilandy and Perambra segments) districts.

His selection has not only counterbalanced the groupism in the Congress party, but also galvanised activists of the UDF, especially the Indian Union Muslim League which has sizeable presence in the hilly regions.

The former KPCC president, who plans to launch his campaign from Vadakara on Thursday, termed his nomination as a fight against the politics of violence. The Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), which holds sway in some grama panchayats, has extended support to the candidate. The Congress, which won the Vadakara seat in 2009 and 2014, has been struggling to find a suitable candidate after sitting MP Mullappally Ramachandran decided to opt out of the race following his elevation as KPCC president.

Political violence

While the Kasturirangan report and communal and political violence dominated the electioneering in 2014, UDF poll managers say they will focus on the issue of political violence this time.

However, the switching over of the Loktantrik Janata Dal to the LDF camp is another factor in the polls. Though the party has been denied a seat, the district unit has decided to throw their weight behind the CPI(M) in the race.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:57:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-prestigious-battleground/article26593855.ece

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