An election and a forest between them  11/22/2020 19:11:32 

V. Ramesh has not met his wife M.R. Deepika for the past three days. With both contesting the upcoming local body elections, they have been busy with their respective election campaigns. On Saturday, their 8-year-old son, free from online classes in the weekend, accompanied his father on the campaign trail.

While Mr. Ramesh is a CPI(M) candidate in the Pezhumoodu division of the Vellanad block panchayat, Ms. Deepika is contesting for the CPI(M) in the Chonampara ward of the Kuttichal panchayat, in the rural outskirts of the capital district, where her husband is the sitting councillor.

Chonampara is a ward with a large tribal population. Many areas in the ward are deep inside the forest. So she has been camping there for the past two days. Though most of the areas are now connected by road, there are still houses inside the forest, where you have to walk kilometres to reach. We keep in touch over phone during campaigning. Today, she might come home. Our son came with me today. On most days, he stays with our relatives, says Mr. Ramesh. Ms. Deepikas phone remained unreachable all through Saturday.

They met more than a decade ago, while working as Scheduled Tribe promoters. Ms. Deepika has been active in the Kudumbashree. Though Mr. Ramesh is the sitting councillor in Chonampara ward, he has been unable to accompany her in the electioneering, as he is busy with his own campaign. She herself has a good connect with the people in the region due to her work with the Kudumbashree, says Mr. Ramesh.

Incidentally, an achievement being highlighted in her campaign is the total electrification work done in some of the tribal settlements.

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