Kollam: For the CPI-M, a prestigious fight is on in Kollam where party's polit bureau member M A Baby is facing a grim challenge from RSP's N K Premachandran.
The battle in Kollam is keenly watched as the RSP's desertion of the LDF and joining the UDF came as a stunning development after declaration of elections.
The electoral fight in Palakkad has turned into high-stake affair with the entry of former union minister and SJD leader M P Veerendra Kumar into the fray. The CPI-M has fielded its sitting MP M B Rajesh to take on the socialist stalwart.
Along with national issues, local topics also figure prominently in the campaign.
Concerns of the people in the upland constituencies of Idukki and Wayanad, the Kasturirangan report of the Western Ghats conservation is a key issue of debate.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has already made it clear the elections could also be a referendum on the performance of his ministry side-by-side the national issues that normally come up during the parliament polls.
The LDF has been pursuing a two-pronged approach of attacking the UPA government at the Centre as well as the UDF ministry in the state.
In the initial round, the LDF appears to be finding it difficult to bring up the centre stage its campaign themes after having suffered a blow from its long-time ally RSP.
Though RSP is not a big force electorally, its desertion of the front accusing the CPI-M and CPI of "big brotherly" approach has struck at the morale of the LDF as a whole.
But the LDF campaign managers sounded confidence that the party would overcome the hiccup by the next round of the run-up by bringing up significant political issues to the disadvantage of the rival.