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Jaick C. Thomas: CPM’s Strongest Contender Against Chandy Oommen in Puthuppally

In the upcoming September 5 Puthuppally assembly bypoll, the CPM is placing its confidence in Jaick C. Thomas to go head-to-head with Chandy Oommen. Despite facing defeat twice in the constituency, Jaick’s experiences against Congress stalwart Oommen Chandy could serve as valuable lessons for practical politics, benefiting him and his party in this contest.

At 33, Jaick is a recognizable figure within the CPM, often seen on prime time TV debates where his assertive and sarcastic style prevails. Beginning his political journey in the CPM’s student wing, SFI, Jaick has climbed the ranks to be a member of the party’s Kottayam district committee, as well as state and central panels of the DYFI. His past roles include being the state president of SFI.

Jaick’s visibility grew in 2010 when he led a student protest at CMS College, Kottayam, where he was a degree student. Despite being expelled for leading a strike against syllabus changes, he was permitted to sit for exams. The strike garnered state-wide attention, propelling Jaick to become SFI district president and eventually its state chief.

Hailing from Manarkad in the Puthuppally constituency, Jaick was tasked by his party to challenge Oommen Chandy in 2016, a feat that, like his predecessors, he couldn’t achieve due to the stronghold Oommen Chandy held over Puthuppally’s electorate since 1970. However, in 2021, Jaick almost managed an upset by significantly reducing the veteran Congress leader’s victory margin to 9,044 votes.

Recognizing this accomplishment, the Marxist party has positioned Jaick for the bypoll just two years later. Acknowledging the sentiments stirred by Oommen Chandy’s passing, both the party and the candidate understand that this contest won’t be an easy one.

Jaick’s strategy rests on his familiarity with the constituency, CPM’s strong organizational foundation, and the development-oriented approach of the Left front. Since his debut in 2016, he’s actively engaged with the constituency, using social media effectively during the campaign. His communication skills have evolved over the years, evident in his noteworthy remarks during the discourse, such as when he criticized the notion of elevating Oommen Chandy to sainthood.

Facing comments from senior Congress leader K Muraleedharan that predicted his defeat, Jaick fired back, reminding Muraleedharan of his own past actions and words against Oommen Chandy. Unfazed by the challenges, Jaick remains determined for this third round, regardless of the final outcome.


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