High victory margin gave UDF the lead

Of the seven Assembly segments in the Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency, Koduvally may emerge a game-changer in the electoral battle between LDF and UDF in the 2014 polls.

This election, the LDF is expecting to increase its hold in Koduvally, a voter base otherwise considered sympathetic to the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second biggest coalition partner in the UDF. This year the total electorate in Koduvally is 1,47,444.

Decisive factor

Winning the Koduvally segment has been a decisive factor in electoral contests between the LDF and UDF in both the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 and the 2011 Assembly contest.

It is the comparatively higher victory margin of 12,844 votes from Koduvally that helped catapult M.K. Raghavan, the current UDF incumbent, in 2009.

In the close race between him and P.A. Mohammed Riyas of LDF, the Koduvally poll result was telling.

Mr. Raghavan, who is contesting for a second term, is expecting to extend his margin this year.

Statistical report with the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala, shows that, until Koduvally turned the table, Mr. Raghavan’s lead was confined to the urban limits of Kozhikode North and South Assembly segments.

On the other hand, LDF had come up trumps in rural Balusseri, Elathur, Beypore and Kunnamangalam Assembly segments of the constituency.

Small difference

The report shows that in six Assembly segments, excluding Koduvally, the percentage of votes differed by only 2 to 5 percent.

But in Koduvally, the margin rose to 13 percent to favour UDF.

Poll observers say the Koduvally victory margin gained significance with the final vote count revealing that UDF had won on a wafer-thin majority of 838 votes.

In 2011, V.M. Ummar Master of IUML, who contested from Koduvally, registered the highest winning margin among all 13 Assembly seats in Kozhikode district.

He polled a total of 60,365 votes to CPI (M)’s M. Mehaboob, who got 43,813 votes, thus getting a victory margin of 16,552 votes.

Case is different

“But this time, the case is different. We have a veteran candidate with a national perspective and a well-established record of working for the welfare of the minority community. Besides, anti-incumbency wave against the Congress and lack of any developmental work in Koduvally will see a positive response for the LDF this election,” said A. Pradeep Kumar, Kozhikode North MLA and campaign manager for A. Vijayaraghavan, the LDF candidate for Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency.

But Mr. Ummar differs. “In this election, UDF will get the victory margin we got in the 2011 Assembly elections. UDF is actively campaigning in Koduvally,” the Koduvally MLA said.

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