Kozhikode

UDF pulls off a coup in Manjeswaram

UDF supporters celebrating the victory of their candidate M.C. Kamarauddin in the bypoll to Manjeswaram Assembly constituency on Thursday.

UDF supporters celebrating the victory of their candidate M.C. Kamarauddin in the bypoll to Manjeswaram Assembly constituency on Thursday.  

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BJP comes second, disappointing run for LDF

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate M.C. Kamarauddin swept the by-election in the Manjeswaram Assembly constituency here by winning the seat with a huge margin.

He defeated his nearest rival, Ravish Tantri Kuntar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), by a margin of 7,923 votes. Against the popular perception that the election would be a close battle between the UDF, BJP and the Left Democratic Front (LDF), it turned out that the BJP candidate and LDF candidate Shankar Rai were no match to Mr. Kamaruddin, who retained the lead since the beginning of the counting of votes.

The BJP, which had lost the last election by 89 votes in 2016, prepared for the election to give a close fight to the UDF and the LDF. Hopes were also high in the LDF camp that Mr. Rai, who had entered the election fray for the first time, could garner votes, especially those of the linguistic minority communities in the constituency. The UDF candidate, however, gained votes in the pockets considered to be pocket boroughs of the LDF and the BJP.

The victory defied speculation about setbacks Mr. Kamaruddin might face in the byelection from his own camp as there had been initial differences within the Indian Union Muslim League over his candidature.

The counting started at 8 a.m. at Government High School, Paivalike Nagar. While Mr. Kamaruddin got 65,407 votes, Mr. Kuntar secured 57,484 votes. Mr. Rai got 38,233 votes. As many as 574 people chose None of the Above (NOTA). Only one invalid vote was polled in the election.

Interestingly, the UDF, which had managed to get only 56,870 votes in 2016 election, was able to increase its vote share with a huge margin of 8,537 votes this time. For the BJP, there was only a marginal increase of 703 votes compared to the figure of 56,781 votes, which it secured in the 2016 Assembly election.

However, it was a disappointing run for the LDF. They not just remained in the third position but also lost the vote share compared to 2016. The front got just 38,233 votes, which is a loss of 4,332 votes, when compared to the total of 42,565 votes they got in 2016.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 4:21:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/udf-pulls-off-a-coup-in-manjeswaram/article29794718.ece

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