Kerala polls: Siblings to contest assembly election against each other
Scripting history in Kerala's electoral politics, son and daughter of a politician are contesting for the May 16 Assembly polls in the state.
Thiruvananthapuram: Scripting history in Kerala's electoral politics, son and daughter of a politician are contesting for the May 16 Assembly polls in the state.
K Muraleedharan and Padmaja Venugopal, son and daughter of veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister late K Karunakaran are in the fray for the polls.
Muraleedharan, a former KPCC president, is seeking re-election from his sitting seat Vattiyoorkkavu here while his younger sister Padmaja is trying her luck from Thrissur on a Congress ticket.
The presence of the siblings has evoked the memories of Karunakaran, once regarded as the 'kingmaker' and popularly called as 'leader' by his admirers, among Congress workers.
Amidst his busy door-to-door campaigns and meetings, the 58-year-old Muraleedharan said it was not because they were children of K Karunakaran that the party had given them tickets.
"I was renominated because I am the sitting MLA of the constituency and my sister Padmaja is given tickets as our party wanted to give priority for women this time. Not only that, her performance as the KPCC General Secretary was also taken into account," Muraleedharan told PTI.
A three-time Lok Sabha member from Kohikode, Muraleedharan had defeated LDF independent Cheriyan Philip by a margin of 16,167 votes in Vattiyoorkkavu during the 2011 Assembly polls.
BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan and CPI(M)'s TN Seema are his main rival candidates in the constituency this time.
Claiming that there was no threat to his sitting seat from the opponents, Muraleedharan expressed confidence that his victory margin would increase this time than the 2011 election.
For Padmaja, it is her second poll outing after her defeat in 2004 Lok Sabha polls from Mukundapuram constituency.
CPI's firebrand sitting MLA from nearby Kaipamangalam segment V S Sunilkumar is the main opponent of 55-year-old Padmaja in Thrissur.
When asked about whether Karunakaran's fond memories would influence the voters, Muraleedharan said "Of course, the memories of my father will come in the minds of Congress workers and voters as me and my sister are contesting the polls together."
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While BJP is striving hard to open its maiden account in Kerala in the 16 May Assembly polls, Nemom near here is one of the segments where the saffron party pins its hope the most with the party fielding its most popular face, octogenarian O Rajagopal.