Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Kozhikode South: no unwavering loyalty here

The mention of Kozhikode South conjures up images of the iconic S.M. Street, the Kallai river and its timber village, the centuries-old Kuttichira Mishkal Mosque, the Tali Shiva Temple and the Zamorin era.

However, the constituency, the erstwhile Kozhikode II before the delimitation of the Assembly segments, has remained unchanged with the Valiyangadi (Big Bazaar), the wholesale market, and the Halwa bazaar, time-honoured structures and historical destinations on Gunny Street, Silk Street and Gujarati Street. Except for the change in the name, the delimitation has not altered either the geographic or the demographic structure.

The Muslim-majority segment, with the community forming over 60% of the population, comprises 25 divisions of the Kozhikode Corporation. The constituency elected Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in the last two Assembly polls held in 2011 and 2016. Previously, the Congress party, the CPI(M) and the Indian National League (INL), a breakaway faction of the IUML, have won from here.

The electoral battle has been fierce whenever the CPI(M) has fielded a formidable candidate to take on the so-called juggernaut of the IUML, especially in the Assembly polls. Such a contest was witnessed when IUML leader M.K. Muneer won by a whisker when he was pitted against C.P. Musafir Ahamed, son of former CPI(M) legislator C.P. Kunhu, in 2011. Mr. Ahamed is, at present, the Deputy Mayor of Kozhikode.

However, in the Lok Sabha polls, as was seen in most Assembly segments in Kozhikode district, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has had an upper hand. Congress nominee M.K. Raghavan won by a margin of 4,781 votes in 2009, 5,216 votes in 2014, and 13,731 votes in 2019.

The recent civic body polls has boosted the confidence of the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) camp after it breached some of the IUML bastions. The Left parties won 15 out of the 25 divisions while the UDF won eight. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the remaining two divisions.

Both the coalitions are yet to announce the names of their candidates from Kozhikode South. The IUML is likely to renominate Mr. Muneer while the LDF has offered the seat to INL. Among the names being considered is the party national secretary Ahammed Devarkovil.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has not announced its nominee yet. Previously, the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena, a constituent of the NDA, had contested from here. But now, the BJP plans to field its district president V.K. Sajeevan.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 9:07:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/kozhikode-south-no-unwavering-loyalty-here/article34031471.ece

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