Thiruvananthapuram | A fierce three-cornered fight is in the offing in the Vattiyoorkavu Assembly segment, adjacent to the capital city of Kerala, with candidates of the ruling Congress-led UDF, CPI-M headed LDF and NDA getting ready for a showdown during the May 16 elections.
The electoral battle in the constituency has assumed significance as BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekharan is challenging Congress’ formidable K Muraleedharan, the sitting MLA and son of former Chief Minister late K Karunakaran.
The contest has become more interesting as the CPI(M) candidate is college lecturer-turned-politician and Rajya Sabha member T N Seema, whose term in the Upper House of Parliament ends this month.
In the 2011 assembly polls, Muraleedharan had defeated LDF supported Independent Cherian Philip by a comfortable margin of 16,167 with BJP’s VV Rajesh securing only 13,494 votes. However, this time around both CPI(M) and BJP are leaving no stone unturned to give a tough fight to the UDF nominee.
An added advantage for CPI(M) cadres is that they have a candidate who will be contesting on the party symbol this time. Besides, as a Rajya Sabha member, Seema has spent a good amount of money from the MP’s Local Area funds for various development and welfare activities and patient welfare projects in Thiruvananthapuram medical college and other hospitals.
I am confident and the response which I am getting from voters is very good, Seema, who is busy with her door-to-door campaign, told. I am sure that voters who remain neutral will also vote for LDF, she said. She alleged that the BJP-Congress’ unholy nexus as in the previous polls, would not succeed this time.
However, the fall in its vote share from 40,364 in 2011 to 27,504 in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is a cause of worry to LDF. Even in the local bodies’ poll in November 2015, LDF could not gain much as CPI(M) managed to win only a dozen wards in the constituency.