Socialist stalwart battling hard to wrest CPI(M) bastion

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Socialist stalwart battling hard to wrest CPI(M) bastion
Palakkad (Ker), Apr 4: The heat of the electoral battle in Palakkad is as intense as the high summer scorching the vast rural constituency where Socialist Janata Democratic leader and former Union Minister M P Veerendrakumar from the Congress-led UDF is locked in a fierce combat with sitting CPI(M) MP M B Rajesh.

A Left bastion which has sent to Parliament Marxist veterans like A K Gopalan and E K Nayanar, Palakkad had also favoured the Congress occasionally.

Veerendrakumar is also known as a Socialist stalwart, activist and orator


BJP has fielded its firebrand woman face Sobha Surendran, who has put her heart and soul into the campaign, refusing to be disheartened by her party's dismal showing in previous elections. While Rajesh, also national president of CPI(M)'s youth wing DYFI, has the advantage of being the sitting MP and a native of Palakkad, Veerendrakumar is also well known to the voters as a Socialist stalwart, activist, writer, orator and helmsman of a leading media house.

For long a loyal partner of the LDF, the Janata Dal faction led by Veerendrakumar left the Front on the eve of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls following ruptured relations with CPI(M) over allocation of a seat to the party. He later formed SJD, which became a constituent of the Congress-led UDF before the 2011 Assembly polls and now a partner in the coalition ministry headed by Oommen Chandy.

According to UDF circles, the Congress allotted the seat it unsuccessfully contested last time to the SJD more because of Veerendrakumar's stature and personal accomplishments than on the strength of his party in the area.

So, the Congress has taken up the battle in Palakkad as a prestigious one and geared up its ranks to work hard for the UDF victory. "The constituency has not been cared well by the CPI(M) MPs it returned in the past elections. Basic amenities like drinking water is still an issue here. No sincere efforts had been made in getting central funds and even the local development funds of the MP was not properly utilised," Veerendrakumar said.


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