Rain of tears

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By K.M. RAKESH IN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
  • Published 7.04.11
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As candidates pour their sweat and toil into the campaign trail in Kerala, the tears are being provided by aspirants ignored by their parties.

Disappointed politicians — men and women, young and old — have been holding news conferences and letting go of their emotions, sobbing about how their parties had failed to recognise their contributions.

One-time CPM poster girl Sindhu Joy did it, and then switched over to the Congress and wept in public again — shedding tears of joy this time — as former chief minister Oommen Chandy presented her before the media.

Ironically, in her previous avatar as a firebrand SFI leader, Joy had contested unsuccessfully against Chandy and then, in the last Lok Sabha polls, given a scare to the Congress's K.V. Thomas, who is now Union junior minister for food. She is now a star campaigner for the Congress, a party she once despised, although she has not been given a ticket.

Another flood of tears came from Jaya Dali, whose plight was the converse of Joy's. Denied a ticket by the Congress, the Youth Congress leader burst into tears and switched over to the CPM, which has fielded her from the Kattakada seat in Thiruvananthapuram.

Although the two young women's sobs have won them takers in their opponents’ camps, former health minister K.K. Ramachandran has found out that tears don’t have the same impact when shed by elderly males.

The 71-year-old Congress veteran has been left stranded, and is now threatening to reveal a scandal involving Chandy and state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala.

At his news conference, Ramachandran “could not control” himself and wept like a baby, so much so that it was difficult to make out his words at first. After gathering himself, he said: “This is gross injustice to a loyalist.”

An associate of the late K. Karunakaran, Ramachandran had stayed with the Congress even when his leader quit and floated his own party.

“And this is what I get for my loyalty,” he said. He has alleged that Chandy and Chennithala are getting back at him for ignoring their suggestion to clear a waste treatment plant for a public enterprise in the state when he was health minister.

Joy and Dali have now wiped their tears and are spewing fire at their former parties.

The physically challenged Dali is known for her oratorial skills that had roasted many a Left leader; now she has trained her guns at the Congress’s “male-dominated” leadership whom she accuses of over-riding the powers of even party chief Sonia Gandhi.

“I am sure I will get to play a better role with the Left,” she says.

Joy had shot into fame in 2006 when, as an SFI leader, she suffered injuries in a lathi-charge but ignored her pain to move around on crutches, campaigning against the Chandy government’s “misdeeds”.

“Is this the policy of the communists and its chief minister towards women?” she had muttered through her sobs as she announced her decision to quit the party.

Apart from providing the voters some mirth, the tear rain is not likely to leave a mark although Dali seems to be on a strong wicket.

Who

Sindhu Joy
erstwhile SFI leader

Why: Because she was denied a ticket by the CPM. Later she shed tears of joy after switching to the Congress

Who

Jaya Dali
erstwhile Youth Congress leader

Why: Sindhu’s tearful twin in reverse. Jaya switched from the Congress to the CPM

Who

K.K. Ramachandran
Congress dissident and former health minister

Why: What the young can do, the 71-year-old leader can do better. He bawled at the “injustice” meted out by the Congress

NOT TO FORGET

L.K. Advani
the elder statesman

of emotions. Rarely misses a chance to work the tear ducts