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'BJP Won't Win A Single Seat In Kerala'

Last updated on: May 02, 2024 09:31 IST
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'I will win the election. The Congress and BJP are fighting for second place.'

IMAGE: Pannyan Raveendran, the Left Democratic Front candidate for the Thiruvanathapuram Lok Sabha seat. All Photographs and Videos: Archana Masih for

"I will speak in Malayalam," says Pannyan Raveendaran, the Communist Party of India candidate for the Thiruvanathapuram Lok Sabha election. "If I speak in English, I may mispronounce some words, and then the trolls will have a field day."

Though Mr Raveendran and my late father are natives of Kannur, my father left his home in 1944, a year before Mr Raveendran was born, and moved to Bombay to earn a living. As a Mumbaikar all my life, my association with Malayalam remains tentative at best, so I gamely agree and plunge into the interview with the Communist leader, conducted in the accent of my father and his Malabar.

A member of Mr Raveendran's team had told us earlier that he was reluctant to grant an interview and asked me to play the Kannur card, which I do, invoking a late beloved uncle and an icon of the Malabar town's football scene.

Mr Ravindran warms to the memory of my uncle even though they were on different sides of the ideological fence.

Mr Raveendran lives a spartan existence, residing in a room in a local Communist office in Thiruvanathapuram, abstains from traveling by government vehicles though the CPI is a constituent of the Left Democratic Front which currently rules the state, and has not cut his hair since the Emergency in eternal protest against the police excesses of that dark and diabolic era in India's democratic journey.

Sitting under a portrait of the Mahatma dying, Mr Raveendran answers Rediff's questions.

For non Malayalees, a gist of what the CPI candidate said:

* Why he was reluctant to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha election even though he had represented Thiruvanathapuram in the Lok Sabha for 40 months;

* Why he believes the electoral landscape in the constituency has changed after the 2019 Lok Sabha election, which Dr Shashi Tharoor won -- the LDF won 6 of the 7 assembly seats in Thiruvanathapuram in the 2021 assembly election;

* What the main issues in Thiruvanthapuram this election are;

* Why Dr Tharoor, who has represented Thiruvanathapuram for three terms, has failed as an MP;

* Why he will triumph when the votes are counted on June 4 and why the contest is really for second place between the Congress' Shashi Tharoor and the Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajeev Chandrasekhar;

* Why the BJP will draw a blank in Kerala this Lok Sabha election.


WATCH Videos Of The Interview:












Photographs edited by Manisha Kotian/
Videos edited by Hitesh Harisinghani/
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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