Thiruvananthapuram

An emphatic victory for LDF

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Front doubled its vote tally to register its first victory after formation of segment

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has wrested the Vattiyurkavu Assembly constituency from the United Democratic Front (UDF) for the first time since its formation in 2008.

Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V.K. Prasanth snatched an improbable victory in the byelection by a handsome margin of 14,465 votes over his nearest rival, UDF candidate K. Mohankumar.

Mr. Prasanth polled 54,830 votes, while Mr. Mohankumar got 40,365 votes. National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate and Bharatiya Janata Party Thiruvananthapuram district president S. Suresh could manage to garner only 27,453 votes, a steep fall from what party candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan could win in the 2016 Assembly election (43,700) in the constituency.

Mr. Prasanth’s vote tally has exceeded expectations, even bringing him within touching distance of former legislator K. Muraleedharan’s margin of 16,167 in the first election in the constituency in 2011.

Ever since, the Congress-led United Democratic Front has maintained supremacy in the constituency, even while weathering stiff challenges from the NDA.

Vote tally doubled

The LDF has almost doubled its vote tally in the segment from the 29,414 votes it secured in the previous elections. Impressively, the CPI(M)-led coalition swept through many traditional strongholds of the Congress, including Nalanchira, Kesavadasapuram and Kudappanakkunnu.

The electoral outcome comes as a major boost for the LDF government as well as the CPI(M), which gambled by going against caste equations in the constituency where the Nair community wielded considerable influence. Mr. Prasanth’s candidature hinged on the wave of popularity he has been riding on in the aftermath of the recent floods when he spearheaded the relief efforts. On the other hand, both the UDF and NDA fielded members of the Nair community.

Blow to NSS

The development has also come as a major blow to the Nair Service Society (NSS), which had openly extended support for the UDF candidate, against their long-held policy of equi-distance.

While the LDF has succeeded in wresting the constituency from the UDF by fielding Mr. Prasanth, 38, affectionately called ‘Mayor Bro’, it remains to be seen how his transition into ‘MLA Bro’ could ensure a firm grip over the constituency and a repeat victory for the front in the Assembly elections which is around one-and-a-half years away.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:26:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/an-emphatic-victory-for-ldf/article29790492.ece

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