Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 18 (UNI) 'Sexual harassment' has become a hot topic for campaigning at Kovalam Assembly constituency, where the internationally famed beach resort is located, with four-time MLA A Neelalohithadasan joining the fray as an independent after his party Janata Dal(S) denied him ticket.
While women groups are up in arm against his candidature, Mr Neelalohithadasan, who is convicted in two cases of sexual harassment, says he is fighting the elections to clear his name from the smear campaign.
It was under pressure from the pro-CPI(M) women's groups that the JD (S) was forced to change the candidate, throwing open a tough three-cornered fight in the constituency where polling will be on April 22.
Kovalam had stood by the Left Democratic Front(LDF) for more than a decade and has withstood the Congress wave many a time.
Mr Neelalohitadasan had represented the constituency for four straight terms.
Political analysts say it is difficult to arrive at any conclusion this time.
The LDF has fielded Rufus Daniel, a Congress worker, who had now shifted to the Janata Dal (S) and the UDF has in the fray Congress District Vice President George Mercier. Satheesh Kumar is the BJP candidate.
Even though Mr Neelalohitadasan is contesting as an independent candidate, the LDF camp, however, is confident that Kovalam, which had always stood with them would vote them again to victory.
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