Nemom: In Kerala's bipolar electoral scenario dominated by CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress-headed UDF, Nemom has emerged as the lone segment to witness a triangular battle with BJP leader O Rajagopal mounting a high-voltage campaign to fulfill the party's goal of opening its account in the state Assembly.
Other contestants in the three-horse race in the
semi-urban segment that covers part of state capital
Thiruvananthapuram are CPI(M) MLA V Sivankutty and Charupara
Ravi of Socialist Janata Democratic, a constituent of the UDF.
A former mayor, Sivankutty was elected to the Assembly in 2006 from Thiruvananthapuram East, which has disappeared in the delimitation exercise.
He has come up through the campus politics and is
approaching the voters banking on the strength of the works he
had taken up for the city as civic chief and later as MLA.
Ravi is also a familiar figure in the area but is
leaning heavily on the Congress for taking his campaign
forward as SJD is not a force to reckon with in the
Though hailing from Palakkad, Rajagopal is quite
familiar to the people of Thiruvananthapuram as he has been
staying in the city for the last few decades.
Known as 'Rajettan' (elder brother) among all sections
of people, 82-year-old Rajagopal, a former union minister of
state, is the most popular and experienced face of the saffron
party in Kerala since the Jan Sangh days.
He had contested from Thirvananthapuram in 2004 Lok
Sabha polls and finished a close third to the Congress
candidate then. Rajagopal's acceptability to all sections
blurring the bourns of politics has prompted his party to
field him here.
The segment's social and religious profile is also
considered conducive for the party as the area has large
concentration of middle class and salaried people, on whom the
BJP rests its hopes to break its electoral jinx.
The BJP's showing in the civic polls last year, when
it picked up several seats in the area and finished a close
second in a few others, has also been factored in by the party
strategists to choose Nemom to focus all their attention.
But the LDF and the UDF are quick to dismiss the BJP's
chances holding that Rajagoapl would also end up in third slot
as his party in rest of the 139 seats across the state.
"Once again it will turn out to be publicity stunt by
the BJP as we have seen during the past elections," a district
functionary of the CPI(M) told reporters.
First Published: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 10:55