K K Shailaja Aims to Win Back Vadakara Seat for CPI(M) Amid Controversies

K K Shailaja, Kerala's former health minister, is the CPI(M)'s candidate for the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat. The battle for this key constituency is marred by allegations of political violence, corruption, and unfair campaign tactics from both sides.

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K K Shailaja Aims to Win Back Vadakara Seat for CPI(M) Amid Controversies

K K Shailaja Aims to Win Back Vadakara Seat for CPI(M) Amid Controversies

K K Shailaja, the former Kerala health minister known as 'teacher amma', is the CPI(M)'s candidate in the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency for the 2024 general elections. The party is banking on Shailaja's popularity to wrest back the seat from the Congress, which has won it three times since 2009.

Shailaja, currently an MLA from Mattannur in Kannur, will take on Palakkad MLA Shafi Parambil of the Congress. The constituency has a history of political violence, which has dented the CPI(M)'s prospects in previous elections. The party's alleged role in the murder of rebel CPI(M) worker T P Chandrasekharan in 2012 remains a contentious issue. Violence has again become a talking point after a CPI(M) worker's death in a crude bomb-making incident.

Shailaja's campaign focuses on issues like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and her role in steering Kerala through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Congress has raised corruption allegations against her during her tenure as health minister. Shailaja has filed a complaint with the Election Commission alleging that her morphed pictures are being circulated online.

Why this matters: The Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency is a key battleground in Kerala, with the CPI(M) and Congress locked in a fierce contest. The outcome could have implications for the balance of power in the state and the national political landscape.

Several cases have been registered against individuals for circulating false and indecent posts targeting Shailaja on social media. The police have arrested Mebin Thomas Perumpalliyil for sharing offensive posts about Shailaja on Instagram. Minhaj Kottente Meethal, an NRI, has been booked for allegedly morphing Shailaja's picture and forwarding it with vulgar wordings. IUML activist T H Aslam and Salman Valoor from Perambra have also been booked for making objectionable remarks and sharing edited videos of Shailaja.

Senior Congress leader K Sudhakaran has condemned any potential cyber attacks against Shailaja, calling them unacceptable. However, he accused the CPI(M) of attempting to carry out bogus voting, claiming they are in a "tricky position" and would go to any extent to win the election unfairly. Sudhakaran also criticized the CPI(M)'s video campaign against the UDF candidate in Kasaragod.

The Muslim vote, estimated to be about 31%, is expected to be crucial in Vadakara, which votes on April 26 in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections. With allegations of political violence, corruption, and unfair campaign tactics flying from both sides, the battle for

Key Takeaways

  • K.K. Shailaja, former Kerala health minister, is CPI(M)'s candidate for Vadakara Lok Sabha seat.
  • Vadakara has a history of political violence, which has dented CPI(M)'s prospects in previous elections.
  • Shailaja's campaign focuses on CAA and her role in Kerala's COVID-19 response, but faces corruption allegations.
  • Cyber attacks and allegations of bogus voting mar the election campaign in Vadakara.
  • Muslim vote, estimated at 31%, is expected to be crucial in the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency.