Election campaigning gathers momentum in Kerala

Election campaigning gathers momentum in Kerala

As election campaigns picked up initial pace in most of the 20 parliamentary constituencies in Kerala, five candidates fielded by the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) submitted their nominations on Monday. 

The star candidate of the day was N K Premachandran, the prominent Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) leader who is the UDF candidate from Kollam. With the RSP breaking its ties with the opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) and entering the UDF fold, Kollam has become the stage for an intense contest. The CPM has fielded politburo member and former minister M A Baby from Kollam.

Both the candidates have commenced their campaigns in the constituency. The RSP switch adds huge interest to the contest because Premachandran, only weeks ago, was in the forefront of LDF agitations against the UDF government over issues including the solar panel scam.

The Congress’ K V Thomas (Ernakulam) and Kodikkunnil Suresh (Mavelikkara), the Kerala Congress’ Jose K Mani (Kottayam) and Socialist Janata Dal (SJD)’s M P Veerendra Kumar (Palakkad) are the other UDF candidates who submitted nominations on Monday. A N Radhakrishnan, the BJP candidate from Ernakulam, also submitted his nomination. With the nominations on, the campaign is set to gather steam in all the 20 constituencies in the next couple of days. The UDF has kick-started election conventions in many constituencies while the LDF – that has five independents in its list of candidates – has also opened its campaign with much fanfare. 

In Thiruvananthapuram, where a three-way contest is unfolding among Congress’ Shashi Tharoor, CPI’s Bennet Abraham and BJP’s O Rajagpal, all candidates have commenced full-fledged campaigns. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that has fielded former IPS offic
er Ajit Joy from the capital city has also opened an extensive campaign.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala are regulars at UDF conventions. For the LDF, the presence of Leader of the Opposition V S Achuthanandan has added colour to its meetings, especially in Kollam where he launched a scathing attack on the RSP.

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