After KC Venugopal puts his hat in the ring, Alappuzha LS poll battle comes alive

Kochi: The Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency is dear to the CPI(M) in more ways than one, as it’s the only seat of the 20 in Kerala that the Left won in the 2019 polls.

After their sitting member, AM Ariff was asked to retain his seat and hit the campaign trail, came the news that AICC General Secretary (Organisation), KC Venugopal, will return to Alappuzha to fight for the Lok Sabha seat which he won in 2009 and 2014, besides winning the Alappuzha Assembly constituency thrice, starting in 1996.

The BJP has also brought in its veteran firebrand leader Sobha Surendran, making it a triangular poll battle.

Alappuzha is also considered the second-biggest bastion of the CPI(M) after Kannur and the constituency has a sizeable number of the working class as the district is known for paddy cultivation and also the coir industry.

Besides the CPI(M)-led Left has won five of the seven Assembly segments.

Though senior leader Venugopal is no stranger to the constituency, it was veteran Congress legislator, Ramesh Chennithala, who insisted that Venugopal should contest from Alappuzha and promised to oversee the entire election campaign as the AICC General Secretary might have to spend time away from the constituency on account of the post he holds.

Hence, senior leader Chennithala is overseeing the campaign and has entrusted the daily campaign programme to two veterans, KC Joseph of the Congress and CP John, who leads the CMP, an ally of the Congress in the United Democratic Front.

Incidentally in the Lok Sabha 2019 polls Ariff won by defeating Congress leader Shanimol Usman by a margin of just 10,474 votes, which turned out to be the lowest victory margin in the state in those elections.

With Venugopal in the fray, top national Congress leaders are expected to arrive for campaigning, and it would be the same for the BJP too, turning Alappuzha into a high-profile constituency.

IANS

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