The CPM will support comic film actor Innocent from Chalakkudy Lok Sabha seat, which at present is held by the Congress. He will contest as an LDF-backed independent.
Known as Mukundapuram until the last elections in 2009, the constituency is one of the strongholds of the Congress, with the LDF having won only twice in the past 15 elections.
By fielding Innocent, the CPM expects that the popular comedian would be a hit among the electorate. The party also believes that Innocent, a Catholic and a native of Irinjalakkuda in the constituency, shares a good rapport with the church and will help bring Christian voters to the LDF kitty .
In 2004, the CPM wrested the seat by backing Lonappan Nambadan, a local Catholic and now deceased, as an Independent.
Innocent, recently recovered from throat cancer, said, “CPM leaders approached me and urged me to contest from Chalakkudy constituency. I have accepted their request. Now, I am awaiting a formal announcement.’’
He said he would not contest as a CPM candidate, but only as a party-backed one. “I contested in the Irinjalakkuda municipal council elections as CPM-backed candidate in 1979. I had won that election. Let us wait and see what will happen now,’’ said the actor.
The 69-year-old comedian enters the electoral politics with a four-decade career in the tinsel world. He had acted in 500-odd films and is the president of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, a union of actors, since its formation.
He is known for trademark mannerisms and speaking with an accent unique to people of Thrissur, his home district.