LDF's poster girl campaigns for Cong in Kerala

Never before has Kerala witnessed such poll-eve shift of loyalties as last week with a fiery CPM student leader crossing over to the Congress, a ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) legislator  all of a sudden finding merit in the BJP and a Congress woman becoming the LDF candidate.

The announcement of Congress candidates list has led to widespread resentment in the party with losers blaming it on their mentors for failure to secure ticket for them.
One striking image of the LDF campaign in 2006 was that of SFI leader Sindhu Joy leading a student agitation on crutches after she was injured, allegedly in a police lathicharge.

The LDF had projected her as the symbol of the UDF government’s use of force to suppress students’ stir against privatisation of the education sector and CPM pitted her against Congress leader and the then chief minister Oommen Chandy in the Assembly polls.

The “poster girl” of the CPM sprang a surprise last week by quitting the party and joining the Congress. A national vice-president of CPM’s student outfit SFI, Sindhu said she was deeply disappointed with the CPM, whose bosses had “neglected” her over the last several months.

Her first act after deserting the CPM was to canvass support for Chandy in his pocket borough Puthupally. Seeking to play down Sindu’s switch over, the CPM dismissed her from the party the very moment she announced her decision to part ways with the Left and join the UDF campaign.

The CPM, too, had a catch this time in Jaya Dali, a young Congress woman, who left the party, protesting her “continuous neglect” by the leadership. No sooner did she announce her decision to quit Congress than the CPM made her its candidate for Kattakkada near the state capital, pulling out the candidate it initially identified for the segment. The CPM leaders justified the decision to make Jaya the LDF candidate, holding that such “tactical” moves are in order in a keen political battle like this.

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