A Leader who Dared to Break the Mould

Published: 10th November 2014 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2014 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI: Though he had earned the nickname ‘Madayi Maadan’(Monster of Madayi) from the name of his first Assembly constituency, Melathu Veettil Raghavan (M V R) stands out from his contemporaries for not sticking to, or picking any particular constituency for more than once.

The first five of his contests were confined to his home district, Kannur. On the two occasions when he was elected from the Thiruvananthapuram district, he became a minister. Unlike many leaders who never dared to step out of their Assembly seats until they breathed their last, the ten electoral battles M V R had fought during four decades were from ten different constituencies in five districts  in the State.

Moreover, he was the sole representative of his party, the Communist Marxist Party (CMP), in the Assembly, in its  28-year history. Madayi stands apart from all the other seats as MVR represented it for seven years, after elections were postponed for two years during the Emergency.

In his first fight in the Assembly election in 1970, at the age of forty, Raghavan won by a thumping majority of 7,781 over his Congress rival P Sreedharan. He chose the neighbouring Taliparamba constituency in the next election, when Madayi as a constituency had ceased to exist. In the post- Emergency elections in State, which the Congress won,  he could  just scrape through with a thin margin of 1,525, against K Narayanan Nambiar of the PSP.  However, he bounced back in 1980, by trouncing R Karunakaran of the PSP at Koothuparamba. He moved to Payyannur in 1982 for his last battle as a CPM candidate, and defeated T C Bharathan of the Congress, his nearest rival, by 15,960 votes.  In 1987, he was a CMP candidate - a  breakaway party he had formed after his expulsion from the CPM in 1985- backed by the UDF, and in a fiercely fought battle at Azheekod, he defeated E P Jayarajan by a wafer-thin margin of 1,389 votes.

Now part of the UDF,  he shifted to Kazhakkoottam in Thiruvananthapuram in 1991. His winning margin against Nabeesa Ummal, a Left-backed Independent MLA, was 689 votes.  However, his winning stride ended with the contest at Aranmula, where he was defeated by noted poet Kadammanitta Ramakrishanan by 2,687 votes. He went back to Thiruvananthapuram West and  defeated Antony Raju of KC(J), then a constituent of the LDF. He was then fielded at Punalur in Kollam, but he lost. History repeated again at Nenmara in Palakkad, where he had many reasons to take up the gauntlet, including his ill- health and snubbing by the UDF.

How he fared at the Hustings

The first five of his contests were confined to his home district, Kannur. On the two occasions when he was elected from the Thiruvananthapuram district, he became a minister. He had fought from 10 different constituencies in 5 districts  in the State

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