The CPI(M) in Kerala faced a lot of opposition in different constituencies over fielding candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls. Disputes arose in Alappuzha, Kuttiadi, Ponnani, Ambalapuzha and many other places. In Aluva, it was a different situation after the party declared a veteran Congress leader’s daughter-in-law as its candidate.
When Shelna Nishad’s name was announced as the CPI(M) candidate in Aluva a few days ago, people were not sure who she was. It was later reported that she is the daughter-in-law of former Congress legislator K Mohammed Ali, who had won the Aluva seat six times in a row. He represented the constituency as the MLA from 1980 to 2006.
Shelna, an architect by profession, heads the firm SN Architects in Ernakulam. Her husband Nishad Ali is Managing Director of the Ankans group.
“Everyone has their own politics. Though my father-in-law was associated with the Congress party, I was close to Left ideology. Only outsiders are concerned about my family politics. But for us, it is not like that,” Shelna told the media quashing speculations over internal disputes in the family.
The Aluva Assembly constituency has been a United Democratic Front (UDF) bastion ever since 1980, except in the 2006 elections.
In 1967, MKA Hameed, a businessman, won as an Independent candidate backed by the CPI(M). But from 1970 onwards, it was a UDF bastion. From 1980, K Mohammed Ali won the seat six times in a row. He was part of the Indian National Congress (U) in 1980, later contesting as an Independent candidate, and again as a candidate of the Indian National Congress.
In 2006, more than three decades later, CPI(M) candidate AM Yousuf defeated the UDF candidate Ali by 4,366 votes. But in 2011, the Congress won the seat back. Anwar Sadath, the sitting MLA, defeated Yousuf by a margin of 13,214 votes. In 2016, Anwar Sadath retained the seat with a huge majority and V Saleem of the CPI(M) lost.