Malampuzha: As the `comrade general` of
the ruling Left Democratic Front in its battle to retain power
in Kerala, Chief Minister and CPI(M) veteran VS Achuthanandan
is riding firm saddled in this red bastion of Palakkad
district for the third consecutive time.
In a deft move, Congress has pitted its women wing leader
Lathika Subhash against the 87-year-old Marxist warhorse to
deflect the sharpness of his campaign, based on his claim as a
relentless crusader against corruption, venality and sexual
exploitation of women.
Though a debutant, Lathika has proved an astute
campaigner having reached every nook and cranny of the
sprawling rural segment, wooing voters, saying she is "the
symbol of women of Kerala, denied justice under LDF rule".
Going by the history of Malampuzha, only a miracle can
defeat CPI(M) as it has unfailingly returned party nominees all
these decades. Leaders who have represented the segment in the
Assembly include former chief minister EK Nayanar in 1980 and
Achuthanandan found a safer seat in Malampuzha in 2001
after his 1996 defeat in his home ground Mararikkulam in
Alappuzha due to the machinations of inner-party foes.
He was elected from here in 2001 and increased his
winning margin to over 20,000 in 2006. In both elections his
opponent was Congress` Satheesan Pacheni, a youth leader from
Kannur who was again humbled in 2009 Lok Sabha polls from
LDF maintained its lead in the area in the 2009 Lok Sabha
polls as well as the civic elections last year despite the
coalition suffering losses in and around the segment.
"We are sure of a thumping victory based on the party’s
strength and the popularity of comrade `VS`. The Congress
candidate`s claims are just publicity stunt," a CPI(M)
district functionary said.