M J Jacob to face son of late UDF minister in Piravom by-poll
Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 22 (PTI) The CPI-M in Kerala today announced that former MLA M J Jacob as the LDF candiate for the by-election from Piravom assembly segment left vacant by the death of Kerala Congress (J) leader T M Jacob, who was the Food Minister in the UDF government.
The UDF had already announced Anoop Jacob, son of T M Jacob, as the front''s candidate for the by-poll, which is seen as a litmus test on the popularity of the Oommen Chandy Government which came to power in May last.
In a nail-biting finish, T M Jacob had defeated M J Jacob by a slender margin of 157 votes in April 2011 assembly polls.
That the rival coalitions have announced their candidates even before the date for the by-poll is declared is seen as a mark of the significance attached to it by the rivals in Kerala''s bipolar polity.
The UDF had lifted 72 seats in the 140-member house in April elections.The UDF tally in the house has come down to 71 with the death of Jacob.
While the LDF has dared the ruling front to take the by-poll as a referendum on the UDF ministry''s performance in the last six months, Chandy also taken up it as a challenge.
Chandy had recently said that any by-election would be a referendum on the performance of both the government and the opposition.