The CPI(M) is likely to face a tough time in Palakkad, a traditional party bastion, not just due to stiff challenge posed by a resurgent Congress but the presence of a rebel candidate fielded by the political forum of Marxist dissidents.
While the main combat is between CPI(M)’s youth wing leader M B Rajesh and Satheesan Pacheni of Congress, former BJP state President C K Padmananabhan has entered the fray making it virtually a triangular contest.
A veritable ‘red fort´, which had sent to Parliament Communist icons like A K Gopalan and E K Nayanar, the area had occasionally favoured the Congress.
With Rajesh, one of several youths put up by the CPI(M) in the state, the party is slugging it out to retain the seat, held by N N Krishnadas in 2004.
Pachani is a vigorous campaigner who unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls last time, against Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan from Malambuzha segment. Though he belongs to Kannur district he knows the pulse of the sprawling Palakkad, with its vast expanses of paddy fields.
The Left co-ordination committee formed by CPI(M) rebels has put up its best known face, M R Murali to test the popularity of the group, which claims that their struggle is to save the Left from the clutches of ‘deviationis and corrupt leadership´.