Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Vadakara, a socialist bastion with Marxist vote base

A fortress of socialist parties that has a strong Marxist support base. Vadakara constituency in Kozhikode district is one of the few segments in the State that has never elected a non-Left candidate to the Assembly. It remains to be seen if the record will be rewritten this time.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has offered the seat to its socialist ally, Loktantrik Janata Dal, snatching it away from another socialist group, Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S), whose leader C.K. Nanu had defeated Manayath Chandran of the Janata Dal (United) in 2016. The JD(U), the LJD’s former avatar, was part of the United Democratic Front (UDF) then. Ironically, Mr. Chandran, LJD Kozhikode district president, is a front-runner for the seat now.

It was rumblings within the CPI(M) which led to a split and later the murder of rebel leader T.P. Chandrasekharan in 2012 that pitchforked Vadakara’s turbulent politics into limelight across the State and beyond. Ever since the split in 2008, when Chandrasekharan formed the Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP), offering an alternative brand of Left politics, every election in the constituency revolves around the position adopted by that party.

The RMP had a tie-up with the front for the local body polls in the form of the Janakeeya Munnani in grama panchayats such as Onchiyam, Eramala, Azhiyoor, Chorod, and Mavoor, and it could gain power in a few of them. If the tie-up continues for the Assembly polls, it will formalise the RMP’s alliance with the UDF. For the record, Ms. Rema had unsuccessfully contested the 2016 Assembly elections and had landed at the third spot by winning over 20,000 votes.

It is not clear who will be the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate. It had fielded M. Rajesh Kumar last time.

M.K. Kelu, popularly known as Keluettan, who then contested as a candidate of the undivided Communist Party of India, was the first representative of the constituency in 1957. M. Krishnan, who was part of the Samyutka Socialist Party, Praja Socialist Party, and the Socialist Party, won elections in 1960, 1967, and 1970.

Since the elections held after the Emergency in 1977, socialist leader K. Chandrasekharan represented the seat for the Bharatiya Lok Dal, Janata Party, and later the Janata Dal for four consecutive terms.

C.K. Nanu was elected first as a Janata Dal candidate and later on JD(S) ticket in 1996 and 2001. M.K. Premnath won the seat for the JD(S) in 2006.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 7:43:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/vadakara-a-socialist-bastion-with-marxist-vote-base/article34001337.ece

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