Sketch book 2: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on campaign mode, as seen by E P Unnyhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/e-p-unny-tracks-pinarayi-vijayan-in-kerala-5687923/

Sketch book 2: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on campaign mode, as seen by E P Unny

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Ahead of voting on April 23, 2019, E P Unny travels through Kerala and documents its politics through sketches.

The country’s only Marxist CM, Vijayan has to seek a successive term from these very voters who habitually vote out incumbent coalitions. (Sketch by E P Unny)

At Meppayur in Vadakara, the dutiful crowd listens shielding itself from the evening sun with folded newspapers. Copies of a four-page eveninger are being given away. People gratefully pick it up and cup it into paper hats. (Sketch by E P Unny)

Within the state’s pool of 20 Lok Sabha seats, TV pollsters to wayside analysts, often no less skilled, have been talking about shifting sands in seat after seat, segment after segment. And now on the last lap, across seats. (Sketch by E P Unny)

Vijayan, all of 13 when the state made this left turn, has since been in the thick of the party faith. Quite so because his village Pinarayi is where Kerala’s first Communist party unit came up, a place surrounded on three sides by water. (Sketch by E P Unny)

Vijayan speaks at a venue for about 40 minutes in staid Malayalam with hardly an English word. Not a word out of place. Not a thought out of line. (Sketch by E P Unny)

It is a battle for national relevance and no less a prequel to Kerala’s assembly election in 2021. (Sketch by E P Unny)

A bunch of construction workers from Kishanganj, Bihar, sit absorbed through the Pinarayi speech. “No, we haven’t picked up much Malayalam but we know he is on the same side as our Lalu Prasad.” (Sketch by E P Unny)

The party that rules New Delhi is at its ambitious best here. In short, Vijayan is campaigning for two elections. (Sketch by E P Unny)

An old collegemate recalls, “Vijayan swims in the left waters but has an amphibian instinct for realpolitik.” (Sketch by E P Unny)

The comrade knows what he is up against. (Sketch by E P Unny)

The comrade’s national campaign might well be working. (Sketch by E P Unny)