Special Correspondent

Wins by a margin of 43,151 votes

KANNUR: In a heavy jolt to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Congress candidate K. Sudhakaran trounced its candidate K.K. Ragesh by a margin of 43,151 votes in the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency.

Mr. Sudhakaran’s victory in the constituency that belongs to a district the CPI(M) treats as its bedrock in the State also proved right those who predicted that there was a silent political tsunami with a potential to rock this Left citadel where the CPI(M) had been winning since 1999.

The UDF’s victory also proved wrong calculations about the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) clear edge here after the delimitation.

Mr. Sudhakaran’s comfortable margin also reflected the general anti-LDF wave that swept across the State.

He got 4,32,878 votes of the total 8,61,071 votes polled, while Mr. Ragesh secured 3,89,727 votes. The UDF win overturns the LDF’s 83,000-odd margin in the 2004 election.

BJP vote-share down

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate P.P. Karunakaran polled 27,123 votes, far less than the 40,000-odd votes polled by the BJP candidate in the 2004 Lok Sabha election. The UDF can now claim that the Kannur seat by no means is a monopoly of the CPI(M). Congress leader Mullappally Ramachandran had been winning the seat since 1984 till he was defeated in 1999 by the CPI(M)’s A.P. Abdullakutty, who joined the Congress and campaigned for the UDF in this election.

The UDF workers here had been jubilant since the results started pouring in from the counting centre at the Chinmaya Institute of Technology at Chala here minutes after the counting began at 8 a.m.

Mr. Sudhakaran maintained his lead throughout the counting till his election was officially declared at around 10.30 a.m. by Returning Officer and District Collector Dinesh Arora.

The Kannur Lok Sabha constituency was the first to announce the district in the entire country, according to Dr. Arora.

The results in each of the seven Assembly segments in the constituency showed that the UDF could record a spectacular performance at places that were traditionally considered its strongholds.

Postal votes

When the postal ballots were counted, K.K. Ragesh polled 1,644 votes, K. Sudhakaran 1,573 and P.P. Karunakaran 92. All the six independent candidates together polled 14,104 votes.

Reacting to his victory, Mr. Sudhakaran told reporters at the counting centre that the result marked a new awakening of the people in the constituency. There was a change of mindset even in the LDF strongholds, he said adding that his election was the people’s verdict against the CPI(M)’s arrogance.

“I hope that my victory in this stronghold of [CPI(M) State secretary] Pinarayi Vijayan will persuade the CPI(M) to do some introspection,” he said.