Political battle over murders at Vadakara in Kerala

Political battle over murders at Vadakara in Kerala

V K Sajeevan (BJP)Mullappally Ramachandran (Cong)K Muraleedharan (UDF)

Vadakara, a north Kerala constituency, is witnessing a high voltage CPM-Congress political battle with political killings being the key factor.

CPM's senior leader P Jayarajan, an accused in two political murder cases and alleged to be the mastermind of political violence, is the LDF candidate. The UDF, with the intention of giving a strong fight, fielded senior Congress leader and sitting MLA K Muraleedharan, who is the son of former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran.

Kerala witnessed about 20 political murders after the Left Front came to power. CPM activists are accused in many, the latest being the murder of two Youth Congress workers at Kasargod. Though the repercussions of political murders will directly reflect in Kasargod and Kannur constituencies also, the fight in Vadakara stands apart as Jayarajan is the candidate. "Even if the Left Front wins 19 out of 20 seats in Kerala and loses Vadakara, it is as if the party has got defeated in Kerala," a CPM sympathiser said.

The feedback from ground zero is that political violence is turning out to be an adverse factor for CPM, especially since Jayarajan is the candidate. "We want to live in peace here. So we won't let Jayarajan win," Sunil Kumar, a voter from Nadapuram near Vadakara, commented. Similar was the reaction of many. Both CPM and Congress are involved in a fierce campaign.

Jayarajan himself suffered a serious attack from RSS years back and, hence, the CPM was projecting him as a victim of political violence. But that doesn't seem to be working among voters.

Vadakara, which comprises assembly segments of Kozhikode and Kannur districts, has been a stronghold of the CPM for many years. But in the 2009 elections, Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran (present Kerala PCC president and a former union minister of state for home affairs), wrested the seat from CPM with a majority of 56,186 votes. But in 2014 Mullappally got only a narrow margin of 3,306 votes.

Major threat

Revolutionary Marxist Party formed by dissident CPM leader T P Chandrasekharan of Onchiyam in Vadakara is a major threat to CPM. Chandrasekharan contested in the 2009 elections and bagged over 20,000 votes. He was hacked to death by CPM activists in 2012. Now RMP is strongly backing the UDF. Chandrasekharan’s wife K K Rema said that K Muraleedharan was a strong contender against Jayarajan and RMP was highly hopeful of his victory.

Though Loktantrik Janatha Dal led by Rajya Sabha MP Veerendra Kumar, which has considerable influence in Vadakara, is now with the LDF, the party is unhappy that it was not given even one seat to contest in the election. The BJP has fielded V K Sajeevan in Vadakara, who secured 76,313 votes last time.

Constituency name: Vadakara

State: Kerala

2014 winner/ party: Mullappally Ramachandran (Cong)

Runner up/ party: A N Shamseer (CPM)

Margin of votes: 3,306
2019 contestants

P Jayarajan (CPM)

K Muraleedharan (Cong)

V K Sajeevan (BJP)

Total voters: 12,86,250