Husband and wife, brother and sister, and sons of powerful politicians — the May 16 Kerala assembly polls will be one big family affair in which many candidates flaunt a rich political lineage.
The show-stealers are the BJP power couple: Shobha Surendran seeking election from Palakkad and husband KK Surendran from Vadkkancherry in neighbouring Thrissur district.
But whatever be the poll outcome, this round of nominating relatives goes to the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
The late Congress stalwart, K Karunakaran, will make a mark again through his two children — son K Murlidharan from Vattiyurkavu in Thiruvananthapuram and daughter Padmaja Venugopal is the party’s candidate for Thrissur, her father’s favourite turf for long.
Padmaja had lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections in Thrissur, a secured seat for the party. “I have learnt a lot from my past experiences. In the political wilderness for long … I think I am seasoned a bit,” she said.
When the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) accused its rival of promoting dynastic culture, the Congress brushed aside the accusation, saying it was not a sin for the new generation to adopt their father’s profession.
No doubt, sons were following in their father’s footsteps, even in Muslim-dominated Malappuram.
Power minister Aryadan Mohammed’s son, filmmaker and social activist Aryadan Shoukath, will contest from Nilambur, a seat his father represented for a record eight times.
“My son is more popular than me in the constituency. He can beat my previous (victory) margins easily,” the senior Aryadan said.
Another son is making his debut — Sooraj Ravi, son of the late Congress leader Thoppil Ravi, from Kollam in south Kerala.
The poll scenario is studded with sons overspreading the state’s political blocs. At least half-a-dozen legislators, sons of prominent leaders, are seeking re-election.
Former minister TM Jacob’ son Anoop Jacob, late parliamentarian Goerge Eden’s son Hybi Eden, Janata Dal leader MP Veerendra Kumar’s son MV Shreyams Kumar, Baby John’s son Shibu John and late leader PR Kurup’s son KP Mohanan.