Contests between families mark Kerala local body polls

Contests between families mark Kerala local body polls

Officials demostrate about the functioning of EVMs, ahead of local body elections, in Kochi. Credit: PTI.

As 21,865 local body wards in Kerala are going to the polls in December, many wards are witnessing tough contest between members of same families, which even include a mother and son.

'Sandhesham' (message), a popular Malayalam film released in 1991, that sarcastically tells the story of a family with two brothers active workers of opposite political parties has now become relevant in the state now.

The Edamulackal gram panchayat in the eastern parts of Kollam district is witnessing contest between mother and son, while many wards in the state are witnessing contest between brothers and close family members.

Sudharma Devaraj is the NDA candidate at Panachavila ward of Edamulackal grama panchayat, abut 30 kilometres from Kollam city. She had contested in the last elections, but came second to CPM's Radhamani B. Hence NDA fielded her again with high hope of winning the ward by highlighting the plights of the ward. But the left-front played the trump card by fielding Sudharma's son Binu Raj against her.

Binu told DH that he was not contesting against his mother, but her political ideology. But Sudharma strongly feels that it was a trick of the left front to field her son against her. Even as both of them were actively campaigning against each other, they say that there was no politics inside their house.

Maruthathoor, at Neyyattinkara, on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram; Puttingal in Kollam, and Mathilakom in Thrissur are among the wards witnessing fight between brothers. Elder brother Purushothaman Nair is the left front candidate at Maruthathoor, while Sanal Kumar is the Congress candiate. At Puttingal siblings Sujiraj and Sudheer Kumar are taking on each other for CPM and Congress respectively. Mathilakom is witnessing bothers E K Biju and E K Baiju contesting each other for CPM and Congress. Todupuzha municpality in Idukki district is witnessing wives of two cousins, Cini Shaji and Sajima Shimnaz contesting against each other for Congress and CPM respectively.

While all these candidates are taking the contest against family members politically, it is their relatives who would be caught up in a confusion while heading towards the polling booths.