Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

In Azhikode, there’s always room for surprise

Azhikode used to be a stronghold of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] till the last delimitation changed its electoral profile. The party still has a strong base in the constituency. But, Azhikode has a history of throwing up surprises.

With the CPI(M) setting its eyes on recapturing the Azhikode seat from the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a close battle is expected in the upcoming Assembly election. The IUML’s K.M. Shaji won the seat from the CPI(M) in 2011 by a margin of 493 votes and increased his margin to 2,287 in 2016. After his expulsion from the CPI(M), M.V. Raghavan, who had contested as an Independent candidate with the support of the United Democratic Front (UDF), won the seat in 1987, breaking the constituency’s legacy of having elected Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidates ever since it was formed in 1977.

However, the equations changed in 2016, following the de-linking of Kallyasseri, Kannapuram, and Cherukunnu from the constituency and inclusion of Puzhathi, Chirakkal, and Pallikkunnu, which are UDF strongholds. The change helped IUML candidate Mr. Shaji, who defeated CPI(M) candidates M. Prakashan in 2011 and M.V. Nikesh Kumar in 2016.

However, the LDF is expected to enter the fray with confidence as it won the recent local body elections in five of the six panchayats. The UDF meanwhile is pinning its hopes on the increase in its vote share in the constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

For both the political parties, the vote share in the constituency dipped by 0.63% and 1.83% in the 2016 Assembly election. The BJP, however, recorded an increase in its vote share of 2.07%. The BJP hopes to increase its vote share in the coming election too.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:12:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/in-azhikode-theres-always-room-for-surprise/article34031562.ece

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