Thiruvananthapuram: Seeking greener pastures is nothing new for Kerala's veteran
politician M.V. Raghavan. In nine assembly elections, he has fought
from nine different constituencies and he is on to yet another seat
for the April 13 polls.
Raghavan, 77, whose Communist Marxist Party is part of the
opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), is contesting from Nenmara
in Palakkad district where he takes on Communist Party of
India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator V. Chenthamarakshan.
Starting off his legislative career with the CPI-M in 1970, he was
instrumental in moulding the outlook of party state secretary
He had to leave the CPI-M in the late 1980s after which he formed
his own outfit, Communist Marxist Party. He has since then aligned
with the Congress-led UDF.
Raghavan's right hand man C.P. John, who is trying his luck for the
first time in electoral politics, says it will be a tough fight.
"Raghavan is pitted against a 'son of the soil'. That advantage
cannot be discounted but the fact that Raghavan is a colossus in his
own right also cannot be taken lightly," John told IANS.
From 1970 onwards, as part of CPI-M, he won four consecutive terms
from four different constituencies in the party stronghold of Kannur
After he was booted out of the party in the 1987 assembly polls, he
won from Azhikode constituency, considered a bastion of the CPI-M,
coming through with ease because of his popularity in Kannur
In the next assembly polls in 1991, he won from Kazhakootam
constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district and went on to become a
minister in the K. Karunakaran cabinet.
But, in the 1996 assembly polls, Raghavan tasted his first defeat
when he lost to popular poet and literary figure Kadammanitta
Ramakrishnan in Aranmula constituency in Pathanamthitta district.
Unperturbed, he continued with the UDF and in the 2001 polls he
contested from yet another constituency in Thiruvanathapuram, which
incidentally houses the CPI-M's state headquarters. He won hands
down and went on to become a minister in the A.K. Antony cabinet.
Bad luck fell upon him yet again when, in the 2006 polls, he moved
to yet another constituency, Punalur in Kollam district, where he
lost to K. Raju of the Communist Party of India (CPI) by a margin of
less than 8,000 votes.
With age catching up and his health failing, many felt would bow out
of electoral politics. But the indefatigable Raghavan now wishes to
try his luck once again.
After tough bargaining with the Congress top brass - even though he
did not get the constituency he wanted - he was given the Nenmara
"All of Raghavan's previous campaigns since 1987 were managed by me,
but this time unfortunately, since I am also contesting, I have to
be here all the time. But we both are hopeful," said John.
Kerala will hold polls to 140 assembly seats April 13.