Thiruvananthapuram: For the next two months, Jagadish can’t wear the naïve simpleton looks that are almost second nature with him as he takes on fellow actor and sitting MLA, K.B. Ganesh Kumar, in real-life contest for Pathanapuram Assembly seat in Kollam district.
Jagadish is yet to get the official stamp as the candidate of Congress-led UDF. But he has been to local functions and meeting people as he faces an uphill task against Ganesh, who has represented the constituency for three consecutive terms since 2001. Ganesh was over the top till he quit the Chandy ministry as the forest minister in 2013 following marital discord. Ever since his exit from the UDF, Ganesh Kumar and his father and Kerala Congress (B) chairman R. Balakrishna Pillai have been close to the CPM. They expect the Left Democratic Front to back Ganesh.
The contest between the popular actors is full of stark contrasts. Jagdish, 60, has been a Congress sympathiser while Ganesh, 49, also used to be a local star of the UDF. By a turn of fate, Ganesh is in the LDF camp. Both belong to the Nair community.
Ganesh had won the seat with a majority of 20,402 votes defeating his CPM rival K. Rajagopal in 2011. The BJP came a poor third with just 2,813 votes. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Congress candidate Kodikunnil Suresh’s lead in the Assembly segment plunged to 14,919 votes. The BJP’s vote share has also increased from 6.06 percent in 2011 to 10.33 percent.
The constituency, known to be pro-UDF, of late has been frustrated with the state of affairs, registering 1,253 votes under None of the Above (Nota)....