THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When Congress satraps in the state were eagerly looking at M T Sulekha, the wife of the late G Karthikeyan, to salvage the Congress and the UDF in the upcoming Aruvikkara bypolls, the decision by a defiant Sulekha to look beyond the bypoll has led to the emergance of K S Sabarinathan, the younger son of Karthikeyan, as the party choice.
Right from the days when Sulekha’s name was touted as the most preferred choice for the Congress to be in the fray, she has remained tenaciously unyielding to the feelers offered by the Congress. “She had just one reason to hold her ground. She used to say that Karthikeyan never wanted her to get mired in the rough and yumble of politics”, a close associate of the family told ‘Express’. “My mother has her own individuality and is emotionally attached to my father,” Sabarinathan told ‘Express’.
The name of Sabarinathan was pitched as a family choice through trusted circles even as Sulekha’s name was making rounds as preferred choice. “To be candid, I had a gut feeling that I would be in politics one day. But I never thought it will be foisted upon me and that I’ll have to step in to the shoes of my father this soon,” Sabarinathan said. However, K S Anandapadmanabhan, elder brother of Sabarinathan and an engineer by profession prefers to stay away from politics by volition. Sabarinathan’s tryst with student politics happened during his BTech days in the College of Engineering here after passing out from Loyola School. He was instrumental in stting up the ‘Voice of CET’ to counter SFI hegemony on the campus 10 years ago. The group contested the polls and a few nominees tasted victory as well. The seeds of politics within and the path of his father was always an obsession for Sabarinathan. After completing his MBA from the prestigous Management Development Institute (MDI),Gurgaon, he joined the Tata Sons as manager in 2008. Later, he opted to be with the Tata Trust, while hitting the idea of getting into social work. But contesting a bypoll is obviously an herculean task for a novice. Especially, when a seasoned politician like M Vijayakumar is pitted as the main rival. “Every contestant will have his own rating. But what I’ve learnt from my father is to respect everyone, even your rival”, Sabarinathan said.Out on the stump after his candidature was announced, Sabarinathan is buoyed by the overwhelming response. “I could see the trust reposed in my father by the people. They are giving so much to me even without asking,” he said.