She’s a reluctant candidate. KK Rema didn’t want to contest the Vadakara seat for the United Democratic Front, led by the Congress. But she gave in to the UDF pressure to run as the candidate of the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP).
Rema, who hails from a family of communist supporters, has an aversion to Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPM. That stems from the murder of her husband, T.P. Chandrasekharan, a former CPM member who earned the Marxists’ displeasure with his divergent views. His move to launch RMP only made matters worse. He was hacked to death in 2012, and the 11 who were convicted included three CPM activists. That’s the source of Rema’s anger, and UDF hopes to capitalise on that.
She’s repeatedly called out Vijayan, accusing him of leading a fake left front. Rema took over the RMP following her husband’s brutal murder and has kept up the fight against the LDF. Her plans haven’t worked out so far, having finished third as an independent candidate in the 2016 polls from the same constituency.
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The UDF support will provide more muscle to Rema’s campaign but is unlikely to change her fortunes in this socialist bastion. LDF has offered the seat to its ally Loktantrik Janata Dal, depriving Janata Dal (Secular) leader C.K. Nanu, who won in 2016. Manayath Chandran, who finished second as Janata Dal (United) candidate, is a front-runner for the seat. The J.D. (U), which has transformed in LJD, was part of the UDF last time.
“Each vote cast for me is a vote against politics of violence and fascism. It is for the overall development of Vadakara and against the politics that shed the blood of T.P. Chandrasekharan.” This has been Rema’s refrain.