Old classmates battle it out in Dharmadom constituency

CPI(M) Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, who is returning to parliamentary politics after holding the party reins for 20 years, is waging an all out war in the upcoming Assembly polls from Dharmadom in politically sensitive Kannur district, crossing swords with school and college mate, Congress leader Mambaram Divakaran.

72-year-old Vijayan, who was CPI(M)’s longest serving state secretary from 1998-2015, is tipped to be the Chief Ministerial candidate along with 93-year-old V.S Achuthanandan, who is contesting from Malampuzha, if the Left Democratic Front (LDF) is voted to power in the polls.

Vijayan, a man of few words, is crossing swords with Divakaran who hails from the same constituency in North Kerala.

K.K Ragesh, the LDF campaign manager here in Dharmadom, expressed confidence about Vijayan’s victory with an impressive margin and said one of the main campaigning points was the need to check BJP’s efforts to “polarise people on communal lines and attempt to destroy the secular fabric of society”.

“Only LDF can resist the onslaught of BJP towards secular institutions and so our appeal is to strengthen the hands of LDF,” Ragesh said.

BJP was targeting CPI(M) in the state because they knew that by weakening LDF they could gain a foothold in the state, he noted.

Making a fifth bid to the Assembly, Vijayan, who served as Power Minister in the E.K Nayanar cabinet, had successfully contested from Koothaparambu in 1970, 1977, 1991 and from Payyyanur in 1996.


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