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Neyyatinkara bypoll: Parties on overdrive

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:? No election held in recent times in Kerala has witnessed such a flurry of? political activity, as is being witnessed for Neyyatinkara bypoll, which is to be held on Saturday.

Even as local politics and caste considerations are poised to have a decisive say in the poll outcome, top leaders of UDF and LDF are expected to add a new dimension to the poll scene in the coming days.

?A K Antony is arriving as a star campaigner for the UDF on Tuesday and the LDF camp is keenly awaiting the arrival of veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan on Wenesday. Antony will be mainly touring the coastal areas to seek votes for? UDF candidate R Selvaraj.

?The arrival of Achuthanadan is expected to go a long way in influencing the prospects of LDF candidate F Lawrence.BJP is also leaving no stone unturned, while pinning big hopes on O Rajagopal. Thus, the outcome of the bypoll in which a defecting party candidate is contesting as a nominee in the opposite camp for the first time is keenly awaited.

?Controversies one after the other have become campaign planks of major political fronts. The UDF is put the LDF in a tight spot by raising the issues of the brutal murder of RMP leader T P Chandrasekharan and Onchiyam incidents aswell Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan’s dissenting stance and also the CPM Idukki district secretary M M Mani’s statement on killings in Idukki.

?The LDF is highlighting the ‘traitor tag’ of UDF candidate R Selvaraj who had switched sides from the LDF camp, putting UDF as a gathering of opportunists and the UDF government as a big failure and rising prices of essential commodities. BJP is banking on putting Rajagopal as the ‘candidate with a real difference’ and also on upper caste votes, while also highlighting the ‘appeasement’ of the Muslim League by the UDF.

?Even as a vast majority of the electorate? including fisherfolk are keen to know about how their basic livelihood issues are addressed, the general character of the segment is increasingly veering towards? caste affiliation, overriding everything else.

?Nadar community, which comprises an approximate 45 per cent of? the total voters, though divided into various groups, has a bigger choice among the prominent candidates, as both the nominees of? UDF and LDF are from the sect.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala are already leading the campaign from the front ,and union ministers Vayalar Ravi and K C Venugopal have also added vigour to the campaign.

?Union Minister Mullapally Ramachandran is also expected to arrive. CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has become a common face in Neyyatinkara, as well as top leaders of? the LDF coalition parties.

?‘’CPM is in a panicky state and has even begun to ask voters in areas like Chengal panchayat to cast votes in favour of BJP’s O Rajagopal,’’ Selvaraj told Express. ‘’People are supporting me in a big way,’’ LDF candidate Lawrence said. ‘’The CPM is notin the picture. It’s a fight between UDF and BJP,’’ assesses Alphons Kannamthanam, former MLA, who is in now the BJP fold.

The electorate has 15 choices including independents and candidates of? BSP and other outfits. But caste factors have overtaken politics. That’s the key to the Neyyattinkara bypoll.

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Posted by on May 29 2012. Filed under Kerala News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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