Here, veteran trade unionist takes on senior Congress leader

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The North Island Division of the Kochi Corporation, comprising a section of Willingdon Island with only a small number of voters, will see a contest between a congressional leader and a seasoned labor leader, both known to residents of the region.

N. Venugopal, likely mayor of the United Democratic Front (UDF), will run this time from Island North, rather than from the neighboring South Island, from where he won victories in 2005 and 2010. The Congress leader who also represented the combined North Island and South Island division in 2000, when the two areas were not yet formed into separate divisions, is convinced of a victory.

The Democratic Left Front (LDF) candidate CD Nandakumar, secretary general of the organization of employees of the port of Cochin affiliated with the CITU, is opposed to Mr. Venugopal.

A beginner, he relies on his grip on some of the port employees as well as on his familiarity with the staff of other establishments, thanks to his mandate as a technician at the Port Trust. In two decades, the LDF has won the seat once, in 2010. Padmakumari TA is the candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

With just 649 voters, the division could be one of the smallest in the state, Mr Venugopal said. Restrictions on painting walls and putting up posters on government property keep the campaign muted.

The number of voters had declined since 2005, when the arrival of the Vallarpadam container terminal reduced the need for staff on the island and retirees were not replaced by new recruits, he said. declared. The figure had risen from nearly 1,500 in the year 2000. The percentage of polls was only about 50%, he added.

Mr. Nandakumar is relying on this stagnation and the financial crisis in the port of Cochin in his campaign. “Kochi is a port city, but port issues, which are an important source of income for the local organization, have rarely become a topic of discussion within the company.

As the traditional cargo handling business falls on the island, we should be able to attract tourists, but the company never had a vision for the area, which has gone dormant. Society can play a crucial role in its rebirth, ”he said.

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