THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Alathur and Mavelikara are two reserved Lok Sabha constituencies ke-eping their separate po-litical identities. While Alathur in Palakkad district is a Left bastion, Mavelikkara, Alappuz-ha district, is a Congress fort from where Mr Kodikunnil Suresh hopes to contest again.
Alathur entered the record books in the 2014 elections for polling the maximum number of NOTA (none of the above) votes-- 21, 417.
Former Congress candidate from Alathur, K. A. Sheeba who is also the current deputy chairperson of Chittur–Thathamangalam municipality, told DC that the voters were up in arms against the political parties which resulted in the high NOTA votes. They have been demanding more water from Parambiku-lam-Aliyar reservoir to Chittur river. “If this issue is addressed, the Congress can win their votes,” said Sheeba.
In 2009, CPM’s P. K. Biju defeated N. K. Sudheer of the Congress, who is currently the KPCC secretary, by over 20, 000 votes.
In 2014, Biju bettered his margin by over 37, 000 votes against Sheeba. This time, former speaker and CPM central secretariat member K. Radhakrishnan is likely to be the CPM candidate.
A formidable candidate will be K. B. Sasikumar, KPCC executive member and son of late K. K. Balakrishnan, five-time MLA and minister in the K. Karunakaran and A. K. Antony ministries. Congress sources said that Alathur hopefuls include Sheeba, Sunil Laloor, Youth Congress state secretary and Thrissur native M. V. Suresh.
Mr Kodikunnil Suresh, six-time MP and one of the KPCC working presidents, has already started work in Mavelikkara.
He is close to the AICC leadership and has performed well in Parliament highlighting the dalit issues.
“Kodikunnil Suresh is the only dalit Congress leader capable of giving a fight to the CPI in Mavelikara,” said a Congress leader.