In Balussery, only ‘socialist candidates’ make the grade

Balussery has been a socialist fortress, whichever front the winning candidate belonged to. The trend started with the socialists in the Congress but later shifted to the Left, as the socialists switched their allegiance to the LDF.

It is particularly noted for sending A.C. Shanmughadas to the Assembly for no less than seven times. He won as a Congress candidate in 1970. But in 1980, he was part of the socialist faction of the Congress which had joined the Left bandwagon. By 2001, the group had merged with the NCP. After Shanmughadas, A.K. Saseendran maintained the legacy for another term. But when the constituency was reserved for Scheduled Castes after the delimitation in 2010, the CPI(M) took over the seat from the NCP in exchange for the newly formed Elathur constituency. Since then, Purushan Kadalundy of the CPI(M) has been representing Balussery.

The constituency consists of nine grama panchayats of Atholi, Balussery, Kayanna, Koorachundu, Kottur, Naduvannur, Ulliyeri, Panangad, and Unnikulam. Of these, Atholi, Koorachundu, and Unnikulam are at present ruled by the UDF while Balussery, Panangad, Ullyeri, Kayanna, Naduvannur, and Kottur favoured the LDF in the recent local body polls.

Lok Sabha polls

The constituency has shifted its loyalty between UDF and LDF candidates when it came to Lok Sabha polls. Being part of the Kozhikode parliamentary constituency, Balussery favoured the LDF in 2009 and UDF in 2014 and 2019 (with a considerable increase in the vote share), even though it has been sending LDF candidates to the Assembly in between.

Mr. Purushan Kadalundi won the constituency in 2011 with a margin of 9,882 votes, defeating A. Balaram of the Congress. In 2016, he increased the lead and the margin of victory was 15,464 votes and defeated veteran IUML candidate U.C. Raman. The UDF vote share decreased from 43.29% to 38.64% in the five years while that of the BJP increased from 6.16% to 11.07%.

With the CPI(M) maintaining the stand that those who had contested twice consecutively would not be entertained, Mr. Kadalundy may not get a third chance in Balussery.

On the other hand, the UDF is on the look-out for suitable candidates with charisma to cash in on its success in the Lok Sabha polls and the name of actor Dharmajan Bolgatty is being talked about in this context.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:37:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/in-balussery-only-socialist-candidates-make-the-grade/article34023390.ece

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