Fields Rajaji Mathew Thomas, former MLA of Ollur
Rajaji Mathew Thomas, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, is a familiar face for Thrissur.
Not only as a former MLA, but also as a politician and a journalist, he has been an active presence in the district for more than four decades.
It was in an unexpected move that the Communist Party of India (CPI) decided to field Mr. Thomas, actually the third on the probability list, leaving out sitting MP C.N. Jayadevan and former Minister K.P. Rajendran.
Declaring their candidate much ahead of rivals, the CPI is expecting an early bird advantage. The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are yet to decide on their candidates.
With all the seven Assembly constituencies, district panchayat, city Corporation, and the majority of local bodies in their kitty, the LDF is confident of its victory in Thrissur.
The LDF calculates to retain the seat with the 64-year-old Mr. Thomas, a State executive member of the party and editor of party organ Janayugom. He is also a member of the Media Academy.
It is a political struggle and the LDF has a clear upper hand in the current political scenario, says Mr. Thomas. Religious issues such as the Church Act and the Sabarimala issue will not affect the votes, he adds.
However, some political observers see the move to field Mr. Thomas as a bid to pacify the Christians who are agitated over the current discussions over the Church Bill. Christians have a sizeable vote share in the constituency.
Mr. Thomas has functioned as All India Students Federation district president, All India Youth Federation former national general secretary, and CPI national Council member. He has represented the country in many UN conferences on various issues.
He won the Ollur Assembly constituency in 2006, but failed in 2011. He was the chairman of the Assembly committee on Environment.
To cash in on the early decision on candidature, the CPI has already launched its campaign. The constituency has 45,000 new voters.