Biju Govind

Kozhikode: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) may have decided to contest in the Kozhikode Lok Sabha Constituency, supplanting the Janata Dal (S), as it senses an advantage there post-delimitation.

The CPI(M) district leadership has been making a claim for the constituency since the Delimitation Commission of India notified its redrawn boundaries in 2007. The Beypore and Kunnamangalam Assembly segments, party strongholds, are now in the constituency. The party feels that this gives it an advantage. Its State leadership endorsed the idea of the district committee in the run-up to seat-sharing.

The Janata Dal (S) had contested five times here, its State president, M.P. Veerendrakumar, winning twice. The constituency used to favour the United Democratic Front in the past.

New equations

Beypore and Kunnamangalam had been part of the Manjeri constituency, which ceased to exist. The newly created Elathur Assembly segment, also in the district, is another CPI(M) bastion. Further, the Olavanna grama panchayat was included in the Kunnamangalam segment. Portions of the segment were added to the Thiruvambadi segment, now in the newly created Wayanad constituency. The Thiruvambadi Assembly segment in Kozhikode district and the Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery segments in Wayanad have been moved from the Kozhikode constituency to Wayanad. The Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front are evenly poised in the Kozhikode North and South and Koduvally segments. Balussery is a CPI(M) citadel.

The Janata Dal (S) nominees who have been contesting from the Koduvally Assembly segment for a long time have not been able to win from this Muslim-majority belt. However, in the previous Assembly elections, the Indian Union Muslim League rebel P.T.A. Rahim, supported by the Left front, defeated the Congress candidate, K. Muraleedharan, now the president of the Nationalist Congress Party State unit.

The CPI(M) district leadership believes that the inclusion of Beypore and Kunnamangalam will make its candidate romp home even if the anti-incumbency factor works in favour of the Congress. The party has won in Beypore even during pro-Congress and anti-Left waves. The leadership says the JD(S) had won in Kozhikode by utilising the well-oiled machinery of the CPI(M). However, it does not deny that the latter has pockets of influence. But it has to been seen if these can mar the prospects of the CPI(M) candidate.