Cong all set for fight against CPM's political killings

By fielding senior party leaders K Muraleedharan and Rajmohan Unnithan in Vadakara and Kasaragod respectively, the Congress has set a stage for a good fight against the CPM's political killings in North Kerala.

By fielding senior party leaders K Muraleedharan and Rajmohan Unnithan in Vadakara and Kasaragod respectively, the Congress has set a stage for a good fight against the CPM's political killings in North Kerala.

Muraleedharan, son of former chief minister K Karunakaran, is a three-time MP from Kozhikode and sitting MLA of Vattiyoorkavu constituency in Thiruvananthapuram. He will take on CPM veteran P Jayarajan, who is facing two murder charges and cases under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Jayarajan, despite being accused of political killings, enjoys the strong support of CPM workers in Vadakara, which comprises of parts of Kannur and Kozhikode districts. Hence many senior Congress leaders, including sitting MP and Kerala PCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, were quite averse to the idea of taking on Jayarajan.

However, Congress state leaders’ suggestion to field its youth leader Vidya Balakrishnan, a comparatively weak candidate against Jayarajan, invited criticisms within the party. Murder politics is one of the major campaign weapons of the Congress against the CPM in Kerala, especially in the backdrop of the recent murder its workers in Kasaragod.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had visited the families of the slain Congress workers and strongly condemned the CPM's political killings. In such a context, fielding a weak candidate against Jayarajan would have sent a wrong message and this prompted the party to look for a strong candidate, a Congress source said.

K K Rema, wife of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan who was brutally hacked to death by the CPM at Onchiyam in Vadakara, has said that the RMP would back Muraleedharan as he will give a good fight to Jayarajan.

Congress's surprise decision to field Unnithan in Kasaragod was also aimed at verbally attacking the CPM for the murder politics as he is known for his firebrand speeches. Initial plans were to field local leader Subbayya Rai against CPM's Sateesh Chandran. 

As the Congress finalised all its 16 candidates in Kerala, there are only two women in the fray — AICC secretary Shanimol Usman at Alappuzha and Youth Congress leader Remya Haridas at Alathur. This contradicts with Rahul’s promise of ensuring 33% reservation for women if the Congress is voted to power.

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Cong all set for fight against CPM's political killings

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