Cherthala, the birthplace of C.K. Chandrappan, has been home to many political heavyweights, from Defence Minister, A.K. Antony, Union Minister, Vayalar Ravi to JSS leader, K.R. Gouri.
And Chandrappan had a special relationship with these political stalwarts of his own land. He his school education at Sri Narayana Boys High School in Cherthala, where Vayalar Ravi and A.K. Antony also studied more or less the same period.
It was Vayalar Ravi, who first defeated C.K. in the 1987 in Cherthala Assembly constituency. A fighter like his father, C.K. Kumara Panikker (also known as Vayalar Stalin for his daring leadership in the Punnapra-Vayalar uprisings), C.K sprang back in the next Assembly elections in 1991 to floor Vayalar Ravi. However, he had to taste defeat at the hands of Antony in the next Assembly elections in 1996 and again in 2001.
Another interesting fact is that Cherthala has elected CPI representative during the last two Assembly elections, a fact that might have been music to C.K's ear. In 2006, P. Thilothaman of the CPI was elected from Cherthala and he was again re-elected from the same constituency in 2011. In 2011, CPI candidate defeated Gouri, whose late husband T.V. Thomas was a member of the CPI.
Chandrappan was born in the famous Chirappanchira family, but like his father he renounces wealth to work among the working classes and poor.
Perhaps, Cherthala, once known for its coir and agricultural heritage, might have instilled in him a love for labour and labourers. Many of his party colleagues remember him as a hard working MP who took pains to study the issues before presenting them before Parliament or for that matter in any forums.
Many in Cherthala still remember the courage of C.K, who likes his father, did not fear the bullets of the Portuguese while participating in the Goa liberation struggle. He might not have forgotten the hard days when his house was razed to the ground by the soldiers of Sir C.P. Ramaswamy to take revenge on his father who had in the forefront of Vayalar uprising. The people of Cherthala also remember him for the developments he ushered in the constituency including roads, bridges and in initiating the latest Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-aided drinking water project. As KTDC chairman, he also was instrumental in setting up a wayside retiring centre in Thaneermukkom.