The Left Democratic Front's (LDF) loss in Koothuparamba, Azhikode, and Peravur constituencies in the district may not be entirely unexpected given the changes in their political geography post-delimitation. However, the United Democratic Front's success in wresting the constituencies from the LDF is a setback for the latter.
Azhikode, where Indian Union Muslim League candidate K.M. Shaji defeated CPI(M) MLA in the outgoing Assembly M. Prakashan, had been a CPI(M) stronghold before the delimitation. Mr. Prakashan's margin in the 2006 election was 29,468 votes. But after the re-configuration of the constituency, the UDF was confident of capturing it from the CPI(M). Its confidence was bolstered by the results in the segment in the 2009 Lok Sabha election and last year's local body election. In the Lok Sabha election, the UDF had secured a margin of 15,299 votes in the segment. This came down to less than 2,000 in the local body election.
The LDF's consolation is that the margin has been further reduced to 493 votes this time.
The LDF was hopeful of retaining Peravur where it had secured a lead of 1,686 votes in the local body election surprising the UDF that had won by a margin of 19,153 votes in the segment in the 2009 Parliament election.
In the Assembly polls, Congress candidate Sunny Joseph overturned the LDF's lead in the panchayat election and won the seat by a margin of 3,440 votes. Peravur, a traditional UDF stronghold, had been wrested by K.K. Shylaja in 2006 with a margin of 9,099 votes.
Koothuparamba had been a CPI(M) bastion. However, the party appeared to have reconciled itself to the pro-UDF tilt of the constituency after the delimitation. Else, it would not have given the candidature in the constituency to the leader of the breakaway Indian National League S.A. Puthiyavalappil who contested from there as an independent.
UDF candidate K.P. Mohanan of the Socialist Janata (Democratic) won the seat by a margin of 3,303 votes, a far cry from the 8,612-margin the UDF candidate had secured in the segment in the Lok Sabha election. The UDF victory in the Assembly election here reversed the margin of 4,000-odd votes the LDF had in the segment in the local body election.
According to CPI(M) circles here, the low winning margins of the UDF candidates in the three constituencies reflect the no-holds-barred fight put up by the LDF. To offset any possible setback, the LDF workers had mobilised all the front's supporters and sympathisers to cast their votes.
The constituencies recorded a high polling percentage. While 82.2 per cent voters cast their votes in Azhikode, the polling percentage was 79.7 in Koothuparamba and 80 per cent in Peravur.
Keywords: Kerala Assembly elections