Ramya Haridas from Kuttikkattoor, near Kunnamangalam, in Kozhikode district won over the people of Alathur with her unique personality and style of campaign. She sang and danced into the hearts of the people, delivering the Left Democratic Front (LDF) one of the biggest electoral upsets in the State.
Ms. Haridas had become a star from the first day of her campaign in Alathur against LDF’s two-time incumbent P.K. Biju. Congress men carried her literally on their shoulders, proudly proclaiming her as their “little sister.” She made a difference in the UDF campaign by way of her affable approach and openly positive attitude.
On Thursday, when the votes were counted, Ms. Haridas stood apart not only by emerging victorious, but also by annihilating Mr. Biju, one of the surest bets of the LDF in Kerala. Ms. Haridas made history by wresting Alathur, an LDF citadel, by a margin 1,58,968 votes.
Girl next door
Mr. Biju’s fate had almost been sealed when Ms. Haridas approached the voters of Alathur like a girl next door. She sang to the mood of the crowd whenever they asked her to. People of Alathur saw in her a vivacious spirit that they never found in Mr. Biju, who had faced criticism for his lack of presence in the constituency.
LDF’s convener A. Vijayaraghavan’s remarks about Ms. Haridas during an election campaign in Ponnani were an icing on the cake for her. She took him on legally, and enjoyed the mileage his embarrassing remarks gave her. “I should thank him for that thoughtless comment,” she said in jubilation on Thursday.
Hailing from a socially and economically poor background, Ms. Haridas life began taking an upward shift when she was hand-picked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi six years ago. Her outstanding performance in a talent hunt programme organised by the Congress in New Delhi six years ago had caught Mr. Gandhi’s attention, and she became an active member of his chosen team.
Ms. Ramya played an active role in the Adivasi struggles carried out under the banner of the Ekta Parishad. She represented the country in the global youth meet held in Japan in 2012. A graduate in music, Ms. Ramya used to steal the audience hearts in music and dance in school arts festivals.