Kerala polls: KK Rema, widow of RMP founder Chandrashekaran, highlights violence during campaign
The issue of political violence in Kerala is back in the limelight in Vadakara where KK Rema, widow of the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) founder TP Chandrashekaran, is contesting the assembly polls.
Rema is contesting with the support of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
Chandrashekaran, a political firebrand who broke away from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) was allegedly hacked to death by CPI(M) workers on May 4, 2012.
In one of the most brutal political murders in Kerala's history, Chandrasekharan, as per the postmortem report, received 51 stab wounds. Now, Rema, his wife has come up with a campaign video, including a recreation of the murder and visuals of Chandrasekharan's body kept for the public to pay homage then. The video also depicts old visuals of the late RMP founder interacting with the people.
The political murder had created a rift within CPI(M) in the past, with leader VS Achuthanadan openly coming out against the murder but the then CPI(M) state secretary and present Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said, "Traitors are always traitors," referring to Chandrashekaran days after the murder.
Now, the UDF is using the Left political violence as one of the main campaign issues in hopes of not only influencing voters in Vadakara but also in neighbouring Koyilandy, Kuttiyadi and Nadapuram.
This time Left Democratic Front (LDF) has fielded Manayath Chandran of LJD against Rema while M Rajesh Kumar is the BJP candidate.
Interestingly, rivals of Rema have fielded at least three dummy candidates sounding similar to her name.
In the 2016 assembly elections, CK Nanu of Janata Dal (Secular) had won this seat beating Manayath Chandran of Janata Dal (United) by a margin of 9,511 votes.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress' K Muraleedharan had focused his campaign on political violence and won the Vadakara parliamentary constituency with a thumping majority against P Jayarajan of CPI(M).
Muraleedharan is now fighting the assembly polls from the Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district where BJP had won the last assembly polls.
Elections in Kerala will be held in a single phase on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.