By Amiya Kumar Kushwaha
Kannur (Kerala) [India], April 5 (ANI): The CPI(M) stronghold of Kannur district, where incumbent Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is contesting from holds a hidden ' J' factor that may impact the April 6 Assembly polls in Kerala.
After close to two decades, this Assembly election will for the first time see none of the three Jayarajans of Kannur contesting.
The Jayarajans - EP Jayarajan, Industries Minister in Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet, P Jayarajan who represented Koothuparamba constituency from 2001 to 2011 and former district secretary of Kannur along with MV Jayarajan the present Kannur district secretary who was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1996 and 2001 from Edakkad constituency are missing in the fray.
Will the Left Democratic Front be able to save its bastion without the presence of Jayarajans in the Kannur district, is a key question particularly when without consulting the party EP Jayarajan in a press meet in Kannur announced that he would not contest any polls hereafter.
While announcing his decision to not contest in Kannur, he made a sarcastic comment to say Pinarayi was a "great person possessing extraordinary energy".
Also, P Jayarajan who had faced criticism from the party after his supporters came up with a song praising him had indirectly attacked Vijayan in a Facebook post for supporters calling him 'Captain'.
He had said in the post that supporters sometimes write songs and other times hail people by calling 'captain' in a veiled attack against Vijayan. He said the party is the 'captain' and all are comrades in the organisation.
The Jayarajans were not given tickets after CPI(M) decided to exclude two-time contestants, while five new candidates were given the opportunity. Vijayan and KK Shylaja were among others who were given exceptions to fight the polls.
Vijayan who is contesting again from Dharmadam and had made his presence felt during the election campaigning.
UDF and BJP, both the parties had campaigned hard and attempted to draw the public attention to the political violence in Kannur during their rallies.
In the last assembly election, out of 11 assembly constituencies, eight were won by the LDF while three went to the UDF.
This time around a tough face-off between the LDF and the UDF is expected in Azhikode, Kannur and Koothapuramba.
The LDF had won Payyannur, Taliparamba, Kalliasseri, Kannur, Dharmadam, Mattanur, Koothuparamba and Thalassery. Three constituencies -- Azhikode, Peravoor and Irikkur -- favoured the UDF.
In the 2019 parliamentary election, Congress has changed the game by winning here and then maintained the strong performance during the municipal election by winning a majority of seats in 55 wards. BJP is contesting in 10 assembly seats as in one seat, the nomination of the candidate was rejected.
Pinarayi Vijayan, who is contesting from Dharmadam constituency, will face C. Raghunath of Congress and C K Padmanabhan of BJP.
KK Shailaja, popularly known as Shailaja Teacher, the current Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Kerala state is contesting election from Mattanur, replacing E P Jayarajan, who was the MLA from this seat since 2011.
Illikkal Agasthy of RSP and Biju Elakkuzhi of BJP are pitted against her.
However, LDF has chosen A N Shamseer as its candidate from Thalassery and M V Govindan master from Taliparamba.
A triangular fight is expected in the Koothuparamba constituency after the LDF decided to field Loktantrik Janata Dal leader KP Mohanan as its candidate.
In 2016, Mohanan, then a UDF candidate, lost the election to LDF candidate and incumbent Health Minister Shailja. Pottankandi Abdulla of the UDF and C. Sadanandan Master of NDA are ready to give him a tough war.
In Kannur assembly, the battle is between Kadannappalli Ramachandran of Con(S), Satheeshan Pacheni of Congress and Archana Vandichal of BJP. (ANI)