The electioneering for the by-election in the Kannur Assembly constituency going to the polls on November 7 came to a clamorous end with campaigners for rival candidates staging their last minute road show here before the campaign came to a close at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Party workers campaigning for rival candidates A.P. Abdullakutty (Congress), M.V. Jayarajan (Communist Party of India(Marxist)) and K. Ranjith (Bharatiya Janata Party) concluded their final election campaign show in different parts of the town. Though large number of workers from rival parties turned up here for the last minute ear-splitting campaigning and flag-waving in support of their respective candidates, no untoward incidents were reported. Large number of police personnel including those from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were deployed here to ensure that the concluding phase of the campaign was not marred by incidents.
The election scene in the constituency was livened up by the allegation and counter allegation over new voters 'migrated' from the neighbouring constituencies and the row over the deployment of the Central forces in the constituency. Leaders of the rival Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) including ministers participated in dozens of family gatherings organised in different parts of the constituency to woo voters.
Alleged irregularities in the electoral roll emerged as a major campaign theme for the UDF, while the LDF leadership tried to question the impartiality of the Election Commission over its deployment of the Central forces.
Another major attraction of the election scene was the active presence of the Bharatiya Janata Party on the election campaign front here. The newly formed Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Front of India, also staged full-fledged electioneering in its maiden contest.
K. Sudhakaran's charge
Congress leader K. Sudhakaran, MP, said that the police were yet to act on complaints with evidence about alleged forgery of residency certificates to secure enrolment of over 1000 voters in the constituency. The UDF would approach the court to seek justice, he added. Owners of nearly 25 houses were planning to go to court against issuance of electoral identity cards giving door numbers of their houses. He also said that the Election Commission and Chief Electoral Officer should probe to find if there was any discrepancy in large number of applications received from electors for issuing duplicate electoral identity card. The election officials were understood to have received over 10,000 applications so far, he said.
He also said that the UDF had collected evidence to show that the number of 'transferred' voters far exceeded 843 identified in the verification by officials.