No one’s comfort zone

What is in the mind of Koduvally is least predictable these days. The ‘city of gold’ is seemingly inclined to express its political preferences in surprising ways during elections. Once a favourite constituency of the United Democratic Front (UDF) which retained it from 1957 to 2001, Koduvally is no more a comfort zone for the major fronts. The victory of Left Democratic Front (LDF) Independent Karat Razak in the last Assembly elections by a small margin is a reminder of the constituency’s changing political preferences.

It was in 2006 that the constituency gave its first rude shock to the UDF. The victory of LDF Independent P.T.A. Rahim with a majority of over 7,500 votes had shaken the UDF fortress. Though the UDF’s V.M. Ummer could capture the constituency in 2011 with a big victory margin of 16,552 votes, things changed again in the 2016 elections. LDF Independent Karat Razak managed to wrest the constituency back with a thin margin of 573 votes, defeating UDF candidate M.A. Razak.

The LDF’s political strategy of fielding an Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) rebel gave a headache to the UDF that time. It was the repetition of the strategy adopted by the LDF in the 2006 election too, fielding IUML rebel P.T.A. Rahim. K. Muraleedharan, who contested as a candidate of the Democratic Indira Congress (K), lost the battle then.

The UDF camp hopes that the huge victory they secured in 2011 can be repeated by fielding a stronger candidate. The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leadership is also keen on putting up a strong fight.

Meanwhile, LDF campaigners pin hopes on the State government’s welfare projects and the entry of Kerala Congress (M) into the front to improve its vote share.

Seven local bodies — Koduvally municipality, Kattippara, Kizhakkoth, Narikkuni, Omassery, Thamarassery and Madavoor grama panchayats — are likely to decide the fate of the candidates this time too. Though the BJP had managed to improve its vote percentage from 5.7 to 8.4 in the 2016 elections, both the UDF and the LDF do not see it as a threat.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 9:17:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/no-ones-comfort-zone/article34023407.ece

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