Published: 13th November 2020
An abundance of Nishas: In this Kerala village, two teachers and a homemaker with the same name are fighting for a panchayat seat
Nisha Sanu is the CPM candidate, Nisha Shaji represents the Congress, Nisha Vijimon is the BJP candidate at the Kadaladimattom ward of Thekkekkara Poonjar Panchayat
Nisha Sanu remembers glancing through the list of voters of her ward, days before the election dates were finalised. This 36-year-old former science teacher was offered a candidature by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) way back. Of the names of all the voters, she curiously counted the names of all the women who shared her name. "I remember seeing the names of Nisha Shaji and Nisha Vijimon there," she says.
However, at that time, she had no idea that her namesakes will be her opponents in the upcoming Kerala local body polls. While Nisha Shaji represents the Indian National Congress, Nisha Vijimon is the Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate at the Kadaladimattom ward of Thekkekkara Poonjar Panchayat in Kottayam. Coincidentally, Nisha Shaji is a teacher too.
"This was a surprise," says Nisha Sanu. "Never did I expect three people, who share the same first name to compete for the polls," she says. Nisha had quit her job as a science teacher in a private school last year to prepare for the Kerala Public Service Commission examination. "Even though I wasn't quite active in politics previously, I come from a family with a strong communist activism background. So, the entire family was excited about my candidature," she says.
Even though there are three Nishas contesting for the seat, Nisha isn't scared of voters being confused. "This constituency always supported the left and the party has worked hard for the welfare of the people here. They are well aware of the party's symbol and remembers the work that the CPM has done for them," she says.