Malampuzha assembly constituency is all decked up for 92-year-old V.S. Achuthanandan, amid high expectations of his win for a record fourth successive term even though the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)’s final list of candidates is yet to be out.
The 14th Kerala legislative assembly election will be held on May 16. The CPI-M workers at the constituency have already started their work in right earnest. They have started painting the compound walls announcing the candidature of the veteran, who will arrive in the constituency on Saturday for the first time since the poll dates were announced.
“The wall publicity has begun and many walls have already been booked. The party committees at all levels have had a few rounds of discussions on how to go ahead with the campaign,” a CPI-M worker said.
It was in 2001 that Achuthanandan moved to Malampuzha after suffering a shock defeat in the 1996 polls at his home turf in Mararikulam in Alappuzha district.
In 2001 he won with a slender margin of 4,703 votes from Malampuzha. But he increased his lead to 20,017 votes in 2006 and went on to become the chief minister.
In 2011, he returned again to contest and was elected by a margin of 23,440 votes.
Malampuzha is considered a safe seat by the communists and has elected several candidates hailing from other districts of Kerala. Communist leader and former chief minister E.K. Nayanar had contested from this left stronghold twice.
The Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) is likely to field a light weight against Achuthanandan. But all eyes are not on who would be his rival, but what would be the margin of victory of the senior most leader of the CPI-M in India.
Overall this is the 8th time Achuthanandan is going to contest the assembly polls. The first was way back in 1967 from Ambalapuzha, then again in 1970 from the same constituency. He moved to Mararikulam in 1991.