Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

An impenetrable fortress of the Left so far

The electoral politics of Beypore Assembly constituency has baffled both poll pundits and journalists alike.

This coastal segment, known for its port and Uru building, has never returned a Congress candidate, except once in 1977. Then again, the same candidate N.P. Moideen won the seat on the ticket of Congress (U), a breakaway faction of the Indira Gandhi-led Congress (I), in the 1980 Assembly polls, but with the support of the Left parties. Since then, only the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] has been winning hands down in all the Assembly polls.

In a bid to break the jinx, the Congress-Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) combine experimented with an Independent candidate, the late K. Madhavankutty, with the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in the 1991 polls. Madhavankutty had served as principal of four government medical colleges in Kerala and was well known in the cultural landscape of Kozhikode city. But, he lost to T.K. Hamsa of the CPI(M) by over 6,000 votes.

Not only did the maverick political experiment, now referred to as the ‘CoLeBi’ (short for Congress-League-BJP) alliance, against the Left fail, but it remains an embarrassment for all the three parties to this day.

Hindus and Muslims equally share the demographic profile in the densely populated constituency, now considered to be an unbreachable red fortress. It also has perhaps the highest number of voters in the district.

The segment comprises 14 divisions of the Kozhikode Corporation, Feroke and Ramanattukara municipalities, and Kadalundi grama panchayat.

Of this, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) won 13 divisions in the recent corporation polls. The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is in power in both the municipalities, while the LDF is ruling the grama panchayat. Overall, the LDF managed to secure a moderate lead in the constituency.

However, the CPI(M) may slowly be losing grip over the constituency, as was evident in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the recent past. The party has fielded Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) national president P.A. Mohamed Riyas, who is entering the fray after a hiatus following his maiden electoral debacle in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.

The Congress is weighing its options on fielding either KPCC general secretary P.M. Niyas or former DCC president K.C. Abu. The BJP, which is making inroads into the constituency, is likely to nominate Prakash Babu, the party State secretary.

Printable version | May 10, 2021 1:24:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/an-impenetrable-fortress-of-the-left-so-far/article34039675.ece

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