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Alappuzha prepares for three-way electoral battle

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Alappuzha gears up for triangular electoral contest

In the coastal town of Alappuzha, Kerala, the looming Lok Sabha polls take a back seat to the pressing concerns of local fishermen like Yohanan. At 68 years old, he is more worried about the dwindling fish catch from the seas, which directly impacts his livelihood. Rising fuel costs and lack of government support have left fishermen like him in a sea of uncertainty, as any financial aid is often tied to political allegiance.

The once thriving fish market at Chettikad Beach now paints a grim picture, with empty nets and idle fishing boats amidst shrinking fish catches. This decline extends to other traditional industries in the area, such as the coir and houseboat sectors, both struggling to stay afloat in the face of waning demand and government apathy.

As Alappuzha gears up for a triangular electoral contest, the historical backdrop of peasant movements and trade unionism in the region adds a layer of complexity to the political landscape. The coir industry, once a symbol of Kerala tourism, is now in disarray, with many workers forced to look for opportunities elsewhere.

With a vibrant political culture and a history of electing either Congress or Communist Party leaders, Alappuzha is now facing a three-way battle in the upcoming polls. The candidature of AICC general secretary KC Venugopal, sitting MP AM Arif of the CPI (M), and BJP’s Shobha Surendran promises an intense competition for the seat. Amidst economic challenges and a need for urgent government intervention, the winning candidate will have the daunting task of revitalizing this once-thriving coastal area known as the “Venice of the East.”

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