Kerala Assembly Speaker seeks fourth term from Chelakkara
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Last Updated: Friday, April 08, 2011, 19:21
  
Thrissur: A keen electoral battle is in the offing at Chelakkara assembly seat where Speaker and CPI-M leader K Radhakrishnan is seeking election for the fourth consecutive time.

Congress has pitted KB Sasikumar to take on Radhakrishnan, respected across party barriers as a "gentleman politician" with an unblemished record.

It was the soft-spoken Radhakrishan who ended the long domination of the Congress in Chelakkara in 1996 by defeating the party's candidate and went on to become a minister in the LDF cabinet headed by late EK Nayanar.

There has been no looking back for him since then. A 47-year old bachelor, Radhakrishnan was elected from Chelakkara again in 2001 and 2006, each time with increasing winning margin.

In 2006, he became the Assembly Speaker after he retained the segment with a huge margin of 14,629 votes.

Taking it as a prestige fight to wrest the seat, the Congress this time has fielded 49-year old Sasikumar, son of former minister KK Balakrishnan, who was elected from the seat on a Congress ticket for five times from 1965.

Out of the ten panchayats in the segment four are now in the hands of the UDF and the rest with the LDF. Development issues of the segment are the main poll campaign taken by both the Fronts.

During campaigning, Radhakrishnan frequently points out that Chelakkara was among the few least developed areas in the state until a few years ago. But things had changed in the last several years, he says.

A leader who emerged through campus politics as an activist of SFI, Radhakrishnan's biggest asset is his simplicity and clean record in public life.

Hailing from a family of modest means, he still does not own a home and lives in a small rented house.

However, UDF dispute his claim of ushering development to the rural area. "There is nothing special about the work carried out in the constituency since Radhakrishnan has begun to represent it," a local Congress leader said.

Sasikumar was a government servant before opting for a full time career as a politician, following the path of his illustrious father.

BJP has fielded VA Krishnakumar in the constituency, but the party is not a major force here. Chelakkara has a total electorate strength of 1,73,335, of which 82,512 are men and 90,323 are female voters.

PTI


First Published: Friday, April 08, 2011, 19:21


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