As the Kannur Assembly constituency is all set to be stirred by the election campaign in the next couple of weeks ahead of the by-election on November 7 , the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate M.V. Jayarajan has started his electioneering in right earnest in the constituency. The Congress has not yet announced its candidate for the by-elections.
Political emotions in the constituency are yet to show any signs of what is expected to be a fierce campaign ahead of the by-election necessitated by the resignation of Congress leader K. Sudhakaran after he won the Kannur Parliament seat with a handsome margin in the Lok Sabah election, amidst the allegations of inclusion of fake voters in the voters list. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) machinery in the constituency will be attuned to the election campaign with the inauguration of the LDF election convention by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan here on Monday.
Mr. Jayarajan is already on the campaign trail as he has begun visiting prominent people in the constituency. He formally launched his electioneering by paying a visit to the widow of late party leader Azhikodan Raghavan here on Saturday. Among those whom he met on Sunday included writer T. Padmanabhan at his residence at Podikundu.
A prominent CPI(M) leader, Mr. Jayarajan is no novice in electoral battles as he has won the Assembly seat from the nearby Edakkadu two times (1996, 2001). His fielding in the fray has left an impression here that the CPI(M) will pull out all the stops to capture the seat from the Congress which has been retaining the constituency for the past few years.
Despite the CPI(M)'s dominance in the district, the Kannur constituency is treated as a stronghold of the UDF. It is one of the two Assembly seats won by the UDF in the 2006 election, the other being Irikkur. All the remaining eight constituencies went to the LDF. The 23,000-odd margin that the UDF bagged in the Kannur Assembly segment in the last Lok Sabha election makes the UDF camp confident of retaining the seat.
The UDF leadership here has already raised the allegation that the CPI(M) has enrolled a number of 'bogus voters' in the voters list. The CPI(M) reacted by saying that the allegation of manipulations in the voters list is a usual pre-election accusation by the UDF. An 11-member official team has started its examination of the voters lists following the complaints of the manipulations. The UDF camp alleges that many voters from nearby Assembly constituencies have unauthorisedly got their names included in the electoral rolls in the Kannur constituency.