Kochi: The youngest contestant of the
April 13 Assembly polls in prestigious Ernakulam constituency, NSU President Hibi Eden of Congress-led UDF, will cross swords
with veteran Sebastian Paul of CPI(M)-led LDF.
For 27-year-old Hibi, testing the electoral waters for
the first time, it is a do or die battle for the
constituency, once represented by his father late George Eden
in the Assembly and Lok Sabha.
Scarcity of drinking water, power, lack of proper
sewage system in the fast growing constituency are among the
issues that Hibi would be highlight during his campaign.
The advantage of youth and `fresh face` was on his side and he would not be cowed down by the experienced Paul, Hibi told reporters.
"This is not about individuals. This is a political fight. Anti-incumbency factor is strong, people are ready to
vote out the LDF," he said.
Sebastian Paul, a well known lawyer and media critic,
had contested from the constituency six times from 1997-2004
and emerged victorious on four occasions. This is the seventh
time he is trying his luck from the constituency.
Paul had first entered the poll arena in the 1997 Lok
Sabha bypoll in which he defeated Antony Issac of Congress.
Though he was defeated in the subsequent election in 1998
against George Eden, he was elected the same year to the
assembly from 1998-2001.
He was a member of 13th Lok Sabha from 2003 to 2004
and 14th Lok Sabha from 2004-09. In the last Lok Sabha polls,
LDF had put up Sindhu Joy against union minister K V Thomas.
In the Assembly bypoll Dominic Presentation of UDF was elected
against LDF`s P N Seenulal.
Latin Catholic votes are crucial in the constituency
and both the main candidates are from the community.
The BJP candidate is C G Rajagopal, who is also making
his poll debut this time.
There are 1,33,398 voters in the constituency,
including 65,274 male and 68,124 female.