LDF banks on sitting MLA's performance to win back seat

If anything perturbed the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in recent times in Koduvally, one of the its strongholds in the district, it was the voice of dissent raised by its former leader P.T.A. Rahim ahead of the last Assembly election.

Mr. Rahim, who disagreed with the leadership on certain key issues, including fielding of a local candidate, won against the UDF-supported candidate K. Muraleedharan in the last Assembly election. But that was years ago. This time, Mr. Rahim has moved to the neighbouring constituency, Kunnamangalam, though what he stood for might still have many a taker in Koduvally.

With the ‘Rahim factor' losing its steam over the years and the IUML at last fielding a local candidate, V.M. Ummer, the constituency could well go the UDF's way unless the personal dynamics of M. Mehaboob, the LDF candidate, works in the constituency.

Kattippara, Thamarassery, Omassery, Koduvally, Kizhakkoth, Narikkuni and Madavoor are the seven panchayats that come under the Koduvally constituency after the delimitation.

All the panchayats are presently ruled by the UDF, though there is a significant presence of Left voters in Narikkuni and Kattippara.

“We do not need any other statistics for an assured victory in Koduvally,” says P. Salih, UDF campaign manager and IUML worker in Koduvally.

The crossover of the Veerendrakumar faction of Janata Dal (U), Socialist Janata (Democratic), which is believed to have a considerable presence in the constituency, into the UDF camp, has also made things easier for the IUML this time.

Loss for CPI(M)

The fact that Koduvally has lost some of its CPI(M) strongholds, such as Unnikulam and Kakkodi panchayats, to Balussery and the newly constituted Elathur constituencies respectively in the recent delimitation can also work against the LDF.

The Left has not lost all hope though. On the campaign front they are upholding a long list of developmental initiatives undertaken by Mr. Rahim, the sitting MLA.

According to the Left campaigners even their political opponents would agree that Mr. Rahim was “an outstanding MLA” as he had brought about unprecedented developments to the constituency in the last five years.

“That is reason enough for the people to give us another chance,” says K.V. Sojith, LDF campaigner.

Mr. Rahim was elected with a margin of 7,506 votes against Mr. Muraleedharan in the last election.

The number of voters in the constituency is approximately 1,75,000.

Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP), which is not a major force in the constituency with only 6,275 total votes for its candidate K. Sahadevan during the last Assembly election, is also in the fray.

Gireesh Thevally, who was the BJP candidate at Thiruvambadi in the last election is the party's choice for Koduvally this time.

More In: KERALA | NATIONAL