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Cong rebel poses threat to UDF, LDF

By Staff
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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 16 (UNI) With Congress rebel T Sarathchandra Prasad launching a high-profile campaign as an independent protesting against allotment of the seat to Shobhana George of Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran), a tough triangular electoral battle is waiting for Thiruvananthapuram West.

A change of candidate at the last minute by the Left Democratic Front(LDF) and withdrawal of BJP nominee in favour of an ''Independent with the chance of winning'' has added spice to the contest.

Kerala Congress (Joseph), KC (J) nominee V Surendran Pillai is the LDF candidate, replacing Antony Raju, who is chargesheeted by police in tampering with court evidence. Though the KC(J) named Mr Raju as its candidate, the CPI(M) which heads the combine strongly opposed the decision.

The seat is presently held by Communist Marxist Party leader and Kerala Cooperation Minister M V Raghavan, who shifted to Punalur this time.

The development of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which falls in the constituency is high on the priority list of all the candidates.

The voters numbering 138,042, more than half of them women, in the constituency, always favoured the United Democratic Front (UDF) and sent its candidates five times and the LDF twice after the constituency was formed in 1977, would be in total confusion this time as for to whom they should cast their votes, as one way or other the three candidates are familar to them.

However, the confident Shobana says that ''I have good faith in people and I will win the elections with a comfortable margin as the people in the constituencey know me very well and my activities at Chengannur.'' Ms Shobhana, who represented Chengannur three consecutive times, in 1991, 1996 and 2001, told UNI it was her privilege to contest from here as she could spend full time for the welfare of the people, as well as for the development of the constituency.

Pointing her experience in social work and her developmental activities at Chengannur, she said, if she was voted, the first priority would be for the development of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, as it was a long cherished dream of the people in the capital city.

MORE UNI CGV KD HT1212

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