Resentment brewing in party over fall in UDF votes

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has started introspection into the drastic fall in its vote share in the Ponnani Lok Sabha constituency.

Although party’s national secretary E.T. Mohammed Basheer retained the seat in a keenly fought battle with LDF backed Independent V. Abdurahman, his margin fell considerably from 82,684 votes (in 2009) to 25,410 votes.

A former Congressman, Mr. Abdurahman is widely believed to have secured a good chunk of votes from the Congress pockets. The IUML’s vote share in all Assembly segments under the Ponnani constituency fell considerably in spite of the systematic and strenuous efforts put up by the party machinery.

Although they did not blame the Congress in public, resentment is brewing within the party ranks over the fall in the UDF votes. In 2009, Mr. Basheer had secured 50.14 per cent of the votes (3,85,801) against LDF Independent Husain Randathani’s 39.40 per cent votes (3,03,117).

In this election, IUML’s vote share fell to 43.44 per cent. The IUML could secure only 3,78,503 votes (43.44 per cent) 7,298 votes short of the 2009 mandate in spite of an increase of 1,83,598 new voters over the last five years in the constituency.

‘‘This is something serious. We need to take a close look into it,’’ said a senior IUML State leader pleading not to be quoted.

When Mr. Basheer had polled 44.5 per cent votes in Ponnani Assembly segment in 2009, his vote share there fell this time to 37.14 per cent. In Tirurangadi, Mr. Basheer’s vote share fell to 52.69 per cent from 56.6 per cent in 2009.

In Tanur, where the UDF had polled 51.2 per cent votes in 2009, Mr. Basheer’s vote share fell to 44.99 per cent. In Tirur, the UDF vote share fell to 46.52 per cent from 55.6 per cent in 2009.

In Kottakkal, the League vote share fell to 47.35 per cent from 54.5 per cent in 2009.

In Thavanur, the UDF votes fell from 46.2 per cent to 37.57 per cent. In Thrithala, where the UDF had won 41.8 per cent votes in 2009, Mr. Basheer’s vote share decreased to 37.88 per cent.

When the IUML votes fell considerably, the LDF has improved its vote share in Assembly segments such as Tanur, Tirur, Kottakkal, and Thavanur. The LDF vote share in the Ponnani Lok Sabha constituency has increased to 40.53 per cent from 39.40 per cent in 2009.

The IUML is analysing the fall in its vote share in the backdrop of new players such as SDPI, Welfare Party, Aam Admi Party and three namesakes of Abdurahman, and a considerable number of NOTA votes. When the BJP secured 8.63 per cent votes, all other players jointly secured less than 7.5 per cent votes in Ponnani.

‘‘If a new player gets some votes, it cannot be the votes of only one party,’’ said P. Abdul Hameed, IUML district secretary.

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