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Kerala - Kannur Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Dharmadam: fight for a red bastion

Mohamed Nazeer

CPI(M) candidate K.K. Narayanan is locking horns with Mambaram Divakaran



C.P. Sangeetha



K.K. Narayanan



Mambaram Divakaran

KANNUR: If all the three new constituencies in the district are seen as citadels of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), Dharmadam occupies a special space in the hearts of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India because Parapram in the Pinarayi panchayat that gave birth to the Communist Party in the State is located in the constituency.

The red legacy of this new constituency is writ large everywhere and CPI(M) candidate and the former district panchayat president K.K. Narayanan is riding on this legacy as he faces his United Democratic Front (UDF) opponent and Congress leader Mambaram Divakaran.

Of the eight panchayats in the constituency, seven are ruled by the CPI(M), including the Pinarayi panchayat where there is not a single member to represent an opposition.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate and party Mahila Morcha district president C.P. Sangeetha is also actively campaigning in the constituency.

In a way, both the LDF and the UDF candidates face some handicaps in the campaign. Mr. Narayanan was literally disabled by an injury he suffered during electioneering. His right leg in plaster bandages, he travels in a specially arranged jeep to seek votes.

Mr. Divakaran is not contesting under his party symbol as he could not attach with his nomination papers the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president's letter requesting for the party symbol because he filed the papers at the last minute after the Communist Marxist Party (CMP) decided to exchange it with the Congress.

Mr. Narayanan's stress in his campaign tours across the constituency is on the achievements of the LDF government, especially its interventions in welfare schemes. He says there is hardly any area that has not seen development during the past five years. He also highlights various projects such as the development of the Muzhappilangad beach. Though not complacent, the LDF campaigners are confident that the constituency is a red bastion.

Mr. Divakaran, however, is sure that he can pose a tough challenge. As the constituency has many areas with a large number of beedi workers under the Kerala Dinesh Beedi, he raises the problems being faced by them, most of whom are supporters of the CPI(M). He says that many burning issues, including salinity intrusion and water scarcity in many parts of the constituency, were not solved during the LDF rule.

Though the BJP does not have any substantial strength in the constituency, it has pockets of influence there. The party's campaign theme here is ‘a positive vote for change.'

As the campaign enters a high-decibel phase, people are also concerned about tension that may be triggered by the electioneering. The first salvo was fired by the BJP when it alleged that its candidate was stopped by activists of the CPI(M) at Mailullamotta a few days ago. There was tension in the area when the BJP activists staged protests against the alleged incident.

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