Campaigning intensifies for bypolls in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Campaigning for the Trikkakara bypolls to be held on May 31 has gathered momentum with all three major fronts – the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the BJP-led National Democratic Front.

Current MLA P.T. Thomas’ wife Uma Thomas is contesting on a UDF ticket. Dr Joe Joseph, practicing cardiologist at a leading private hospital in Kochi, is contesting as a CPI-M candidate, while former RSS pracharak and BJP state vice president A.N. Radhakrishnan is contesting as an NDA candidate.

Thrikkakara has a large Christian community and all the candidates are visiting churches to woo voters.

The CPI(M) has chosen Dr. Joe Joseph as its candidate to take advantage of the upper-class nature of this constituency. Currently, things are traditionally in favor of Uma Thomas in the UDF bastion. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who had announced to campaign in the constituency for a while, has quietly left for the state capital, giving the UDF a chance to say the chief minister has no hope here. And so he has backed down.

The social media wings of both UDF and NDA are active with the UDF camp making frequent posts against the misrule of the state government. The LDF social media wing is controlled by the Party District Committee Office, Lenin Center and has banned the entry of media there.

BJP state president K. Surendran is leading the party’s campaign in Trikkakara.