Journalist MV Nikesh Kumar loses poll after an all-out campaign
Journalist MV Nikesh Kumar has lost from the Azhikode seat which he contested as an independent candidate backed by the Left Democratic Front.
Nikesh Kumar contested the very seat his father and CMP leader MV Raghavan had won when the CPI(M) party had expelled him in 1986. He lost the seat by a margin of around 2,000 votes to Shaji of the UDF.
When Nikesh announced his candidature, questions were raised about the propriety of a journalist stepping into the electoral politics and also his work as a journalist during his long career a reporter with Asianet which included founding India Vision, the first 24-hour Malayalam news channel.
In an interview to The News Minute in the first week of May, Nikesh had said: “Journalism was a sort of political work for me. I was unable to be part of party politics as I had some differences. So my political work was through journalism.”
He also said that party politics and political work were two different things. As a journalist, he said his work was political, which he chose to do so because of his disagreement with party politics. “What I did was political work as a journalist in a democracy like India,” says Nikesh.
After he filed his nomination papers, he had announced that he was quitting journalism.
Interestingly, according to the India Today-Axis India exit polls, Nikesh Kumar’s defeat was a foregone conclusion. While the reasons for his defeat are still not clear, it is unlikely to be because of lack of effort.
Taking on his chief rival KM Shaji of the UDF, Nikesh had launched a video campaign called Good Morning Azhikode. He even climbed into a well to show that the people of the constituency were drinking unclean water.
Although his candidature was backed by the CPI(M), party veteran VS Achutanandan had written to the state Director-General of Police calling for an inquiry into alleged fraud committed by Nikesh.