King Kong, Corona, JP 77 line up for Kerala civic polls

From King Kong, JP 77 to Brasilia and Corona: Name matters more in Kerala civic polls

An array of candidates are grabbing the headlines for their strange and unique names

 Representative Image. Credit: PTI Photo

Come to Kerala and you may be surprised to see strange posters or hearing announcements saying 'King Kong is your candidate,' 'vote for Rani Jhansi' or'Comrade Modi's symbol is hammer, sickle and star.'

As the southern state is gearing up for the local body polls due next month, an array of candidates are grabbing the headlines not for their political ideology nor their poll promises, but for their strange and unique names.

From Brasilia and Lookman to Corona and JP 77, a majority of these candidates feel that strange names are giving them an edge over their political opponents as people identify and remember them easily.

K King Kong, a 57-year old Congress nominee, was one among the most notable candidates in the impending LSGD polls in the southern state who have grabbed attention due to their unique names.

The very name "King Kong" would bring the image of the giant gorilla in Hollywood movies for many.

But, this candidate King Kong is a soft-spoken person who is trying his political luck from the fourth ward of Mararikkulam North Village Panchayat.

Admitting that his name was strange, King Kong said he was happy for it now as the name helps him become the centre of attraction easily.

"My parents and elder siblings, who were hardcore fans of Hollywood movies, are responsible for my name," he said.

"Though many people have tried to make fun of me over my name earlier, it has now become a blessing in disguise during the campaign as I feel people are showing a special interest in me due to my name," the candidate added.

A football-crazy uncle had gifted Brasilia, a United Democratic Front (IUML) candidate, her unique name.

Contesting from Payyanakkal ward of northern Kozhikode district, she said her uncle was a huge fan of the Brazilian soccer team.

"My family was looking for a good name starting with the alphabet B When the uncle suggested this name, everyone accepted it," Brasilia said.

The name of the BJP candidate in Kayanna village panchayat of Kozhikode may also sound very strange-JP 77.

He said his father, an RSS worker, was a great admirer of freedom fighter Jayaprakash Narayan.

"In his memory that I was named as JP, how Jayaprakash Narayan was popularly known among his followers. As an RSS activist, my father was jailed during the time of emergency in the year 1977. So, in remembrance of his jail term, 77 was also added to my name," he said.

Nowhere else in this world other than Mathilil ward in Kollam Corporation, the word 'Corona' would be used with love and affection as the name of the young BJP candidate contesting from there is Corona Thomas.

"My parents never would have thought that this name would becomea synonym for a viral disease one day and the whole world would hear it with fear. But, now I am happy that my rare name is helping voters to identify me easily," she told P T I.

Do not argue with anyone if they say that Modi is contesting in the upcoming LSGD polls in Kerala, that too as a CPI(M) candidate because it is true.

Jijo Modi, a journalist-turned politician, is seeking his luck from Malayalappuzha district panchayat division in Pathanamthitta district.

Though Modi is not a rare name, this candidate is making heads turn as he seeks votes on the CPI(M)'s symbol- hammer, sickle and star.

Rani Jhansi, Bilkul P K, Lookman, Vichitran were some other candidates who have garnered attention through their unique names.

A total of 74,899 candidates including 36,305 women and one transgender, are trying their luck in the upcoming local body polls in Kerala.

Malappuram district has 8,387 candidates, the highest in the state, while Wayanad has the lowest at 1,857.

While the first phase of the three-tier poll, scheduled on December 8, would cover the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki, the second phase is on December 10.

It would be held in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad while Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod would go to the polls in the third and final phase on December 14.

An electorate of over 2.76 crore would exercise their franchise to elect representatives to 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 86 municipalities and six municipal corporations.

The votes would be counted on December 16.

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