Congress hopes to win more seats in Malabar this time

After its dismal performance in north Kerala last time, the Congress is looking forward to improve its performance in the just- concluded Assembly polls.

In the previous elections, the party nominees ahd won just six of the 60 seats in north Kerala. Pathetically, it was without legislators in Kasaragod and Kozhikode districts in the past three terms.

Despite the hiccups in choosing its candidates in many Assembly constituencies, the Congress leadership finally managed to pull off towards the last round of electioneering. Ground realities revealed that Congress candidates would emerge victorious in a couple of seats more this time in the six districts, party functionaries said.

The poll managers of the Congress believe that the campaign by party leader Rahul Gandhi would it secure more seats in Kannur, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Palakkad districts. In the case of Kasaragod, the party was unable to aggressively campaign like its partner, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

As in the 2011 polls, the party hopes to repeat its performance in the Kannur segment, and spring a surprise by wresting the Thalassery seat. It has fielded Satheeshan Pacheni and M.P. Aravindakshan in these constituencies respectively. This is apart from retaining the Irikkur and Peravoor segments in the district. Incidentally, the stalemate in the party over the candidate in the Irikkur was resolved at the eleventh hour.

In Wayanad district, the support of the IUML would help pave the way for the success of Congress candidate T. Siddique in Kalpetta segment. Of the three seats in the district, the Sulthan Bathery seat is held I.C. Balakrishnan of the Congress.

Congress leader M.K. Raghavan, MP, says that that the party would score stunning victories in segments that witnessed neck and neck contests in Kozhikode district. Some of these are Nadapuram, Koyilandy, Beypore, and Kozhikode North constituencies.

The party had fielded seasoned leaders such as K. Praveen Kumar, N. Subramanian and P.M. Niyas in Nadapuram, Koyilandy and Beypore while its nominee, KSU State president K.M. Abhijith was in the fray from Kozhikode North. The exit of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) is unlikely to impact its prospects in Kozhikode and Kannur districts.

In Malappuram, the Congress leadership has high expectations in Nilambur and Thavannur. This is apart from retaining the Wandoor segment.

The leadership also has a bright outlook on its nominees in Palakkad district where they faced the BJP candidates in triangular contests in many constituencies. The Congress won two seats – Thrithala and Palakkad – in the 2016 polls. The incumbent legislators, V.T. Balram and Shafi Parambil, were once again fielded in these segments.

The party nominated Sumesh Achuthan and Riyas Mukkoli to capture the Chittur and Pattambi seats it lost to Left Democratic Front in the 2016 polls. It has also pinned hopes on Kongad seat as well in the district.

Printable version | May 19, 2021 8:30:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/congress-hopes-to-win-more-seats-in-malabar-this-time/article34313894.ece

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