Dealing a huge blow to the Left Democratic Front's optimism in Kannur, Congress candidate A.P. Abdullakutty has swept away his Communist Party of India (Marxist) rival M.V. Jayarajan with a margin of 12,043 votes.
Mr. Abdullakutty maintained a clear lead throughout the counting which began at 8 a.m at the St. Michael's Higher Secondary School here on Tuesday. Of the 1,05,932 votes polled including the postal ballots, he secured 53,987 votes, while his rival got 41,944 votes. Mr. Abdullakutty's victory and the huge margin with which he secured it was something of a surprise even to the UDF leadership, which forecast retaining the seat with a 5,000 margin. The UDF saw the candidature of Abdul Majeed Faizi of the newly formed Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and the Bharatiya Janata Party's active campaign as a clear threat to its prospects in the by-election.
As the results show, the BJP managed to increase its tally since 2006. BJP Candidate K. Ranjith polled 5,665 votes as against 4519 votes in the 2006 election. The SDPI candidate secured 3,411 votes in the election.
Congress’ K. Sudhakaran had won his seat in the 2006 Assembly election by a margin of 8613 votes and his margin in the 2009 Lok Sabha election in the Kannur Assembly segment of the Kannur parliament constituency was about 23,000 votes.
M.V. Jayarajan polled 41,944 votes, a couple of hundred votes more than what the CPI(M) candidate could manage in the 2006 election.
Speaking to reporters at the counting centre, Mr. Abdullakutty, former MP who joined the Congress after he left the CPI(M), said that his victory was the people's verdict against the CPI(M)'s politics of violence and attempts to subvert democracy. He said that the UDF would bring to book all those who used fake residency certificates to get into the electoral rolls.
As the lead of Mr. Abdullakutty crossed 10,000-mark when nearly 75,000 votes were counted, UDF workers and leaders thronged the counting station. Jubilant workers also staged victory marches in different parts of the town. Among the leaders who reached the counting centre after the results were announced were K. Sudhakaran, MP and Communist Marxist Party leader M.V. Raghavan. Mr. Sudhakkaran said the results showed an erosion of votes from traditional CPI(M) areas.