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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Days before result, VS son turns to God

Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times  Thiruvananthapuram, May 12, 2011
First Published: 00:14 IST(12/5/2011) | Last Updated: 17:16 IST(14/5/2011)

Religion is the opium of the masses. But chief minister VS Achuthanandan’s son VA Arun Kumar does not share Karl Marx’s disdain.

Two days before the declaration of assembly poll results, Kumar was seen praying at South India’s famous shrine, the Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple.

He visited the temple in Thrissur with family on Tuesday and made offerings. Unlike Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, who performed a ‘sathru samhara puja’, or an offering to silence your foes, Kumar did the usual ‘puja’, temple officials said.

With the votes to be counted on May 13 — a day considered inauspicious worldwide —it’s hardly surprising that candidates have been seeking divine blessings. Political pundits and exit polls say Kerala has witnessed a tight contest and the result will be close.

Facing bleak prospects, the 87-year-old CM has taken the fight to the rival Congress-led United Democratic Front camp. Even his rivals within the CPM — which leads the ruling

Left Democratic Front government —admit the “VS factor” has played a key role in helping the party gain ground in the last six months.

“His image has helped the party immensely,” said state finance minister Thomas Issac, who has often locked horns with his erstwhile mentor. It is another matter if he will be allowed to lead the party, whether in power or opposition.

If he becomes the leader, his rivals fear he will go after graft cases and sex scandals in which they are involved.

“He has grown beyond his party now,” said a party state committee member, who did not want to be named. “The party will have to handle him with much care, otherwise it will cut a sorry figure.”


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