K Karunakaran was considered a legendary kingmaker by party members who were also quick to zero in on his troubleshooting skills at the national level

Former CM Karunakarans daughter Padmaja loses on his turf son Muraleedharan wins
news Kerala2016 Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 14:18

K Padmaja who contested as a UDF candidate from Thrissur constituency lost to LDF’s VS Sunil Kumar by a margin of 6987 votes. Considered a Karunakaran stronghold, Padmaja had returned to her home turf after a gap of 12 years.

After being defeated in the 2004 Assembly elections, Padmaja had gone into a self-imposed exile from the electoral turf. When asked about what took her so long to contest elections again, she had replied, “The party had asked me to contest in 2011 too, but I refused as I felt the time was not right then. I wanted to contest only at a time when I personally felt I had done enough for the party.”

The Thrissur constituency has been a traditional UDF domain for more than two decades with Therambil Ramakrishnan winning each time. People across the spectrum have always voted for Ramakrishnan irrespective of their political affiliations.

With him making way for Padmaja, the once consolidated UDF votes were now reportedly split between her and other candidates, thereby eroding her own share of votes.

While campaigning for this year’s assembly election, incumbent MLA K Muraleedharan had expressed confidence about increasing his victory margin over the nearest rival, but seems to have just scraped through with a small lead defeating Kummaman Rajasekharan –the state BJP chief.

Muraleedharan - a three-time Lok Sabha member from Kozhikode- had defeated LDF independent candidate Cherian Philip in the 2011 Assembly elections by a margin of 16,167 votes from the Vattiyoorkavu segment. 

While the late Kannoth Karunakaran –former CM and veteran Indian National Congress leader- was known as ‘Leader’ and considered a Chanakya in Kerala politics even by his rivals, neither of his offspring – K Padmaja and K Muraleedharan seem to have inherited his political acumen in carving out their own unique niche in the state’s political arena.

K Karunakaran was considered a legendary kingmaker by party members who were also quick to zero in on his troubleshooting skills at the national level. But both Padmaja and Muraleedharan are not reputed to have a political charisma of their own.

A four-time former Chief Minister, Karunakaran is also credited with the creation of the rainbow coalition in the 1970s -the United Democratic Front- in a bid to take on the powerful opposition –the Left Democratic Front- led by the CPI(M).

His passing away in 2010 however saw both Padmaja and Muraleedharan’s political roles being curtailed in the Congress party as well as within the UDF.

Also read- BJP’s winning candidate from Nemom, O Rajagopal - A life history

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