Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

LDF seeks to cash in on UDF woes

The recently concluded elections to local bodies have given a new impetus to the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which is eager to wrest the Kalamassery constituency from the United Democratic Front (UDF), which comfortably won the Assembly elections in 2011 and 2016.

The LDF won 20 seats in the 42-member municipal council in the local body polls and believes it is on a strong wicket as the State goes to the Assembly elections on April 6.

Sitting MLA, V.K. Ebrahim Kunju of the Indian Union Muslim League, who won both in 2011 and 2016, is not contesting. But his son, V.E. Abdul Gafoor, IUML’s Ernakulam district general secretary, is being fielded by the UDF. Mr. Kunju had en eventful five years, marred as it was by allegations of corruption in the construction of the now-rebuilt Palarivattom flyover. He’s an accused in that case.

Mr. Gafoor’s candidature has not gone down well with sections of the party and IUML activists have protested against the decision.

The Left Front is keen to exploit the situation to the hilt and has fielded P. Rajeev, former member of the Rajya Sabha and former district secretary of the CPI(M), and currently a party secretariat member. Mr. Rajeev is a well-known leader in the district and is likely to benefit from the early announcement of his candidature.

Mr. Kunju had defeated popular CPI(M) leader A.M. Yousuf by a margin of more than 12,000 votes in the 2016 election. In the 2011 polls, he defeated CPI(M) leader K. Chandran Pillai by a similar margin. On both occasions, the UDF candidate had bagged a little less than 50% of the votes.

Kalamassery stands out as the industrial capital of Ernakulam, which is the commercial centre of the State. With public sector units such as Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, the Assembly constituency is considered as one of the areas dominated by industrial workers, both in private and public sectors. Industrial areas such as Eloor and Kalamassery add weight to the status of the constituency by representing the sentiments of workers.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:29:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/ldf-seeks-to-cash-in-on-udf-woes/article34063475.ece

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