Kozhikode

Leaping higher than in 2009

From 8.30 a.m. till he was declared winner by 16,883 votes, United Democratic Front candidate for Kozhikode constituency M.K. Raghavan never lost the lead.

From a candidate who managed a skimpy win of 838 votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Raghavan converted his public image as an accessible man and harbinger of development into votes in a no-holds-barred contest with Left Democratic Front candidate A. Vijayaraghavan.

Three challenges

Congress party sources cite three challenges which make Mr. Raghavan’s victory no mean feat. One: his personal electoral history in the constituency is only five years old. Two, he battled a determined CPI (M) cadre and two-time Rajya Sabha MP, Mr. Vijayaraghavan. Three, both he and the LDF faced a polity much-fractured by small parties.

The Aam Admi Party grabbed 13,934 votes, Social Democratic Party of India collected 10,596 votes, and N.P. Prathap Kumar of Revolutionary Marxist Party won 6,993, while NOTA button made its presence felt with 6,381 taps.

Poll observers say the ‘Modi wave’ saw transfer of upper caste Hindu vote – meant for the Congress party –to the BJP, which cornered 1,15,760 votes. The party had failed to cross the 1 lakh mark in 2009.

The LDF however failed to capitalise on Mr. Raghavan’s niggles.

There is no improvement from the 2011 Assembly polls. In 2011, the LDF had won Elathur, Kozhikode North, Beypore and Kunnamangalam.

Today’s results show marginal victories in Elathur, Beypore and Kunnamangalam, but Kozhikode North has shifted in favour of the UDF.

Koduvally segment, which acted saviour for UDF in 2009, delivered again.

This is despite worries about eviction for GAIL gas pipeline and Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats.

Observers say the constituency bought Mr. Raghavan’s self-diminutive description as a “small man whose first duty is to his constituency rather than a national leader.”

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 5:00:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/leaping-higher-than-in-2009/article6019307.ece

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