Kerala

A repeat of a familiar pattern in Malabar

The Assembly elections in north Kerala usually witness a repeat of a familiar pattern with the dominance of the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) whichever coalition comes to power in the State.

But this time the pro-incumbency wave seemed to have helped the LDF win more or less the same number of seats like in the 2016 polls. By sweeping the elections, the LDF gained from the positive attitude of the voters towards the Pinarayi Vijayan government.

Out of the 60 seats in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad districts, the LDF emerged victorious in 36 segments. The front has lost a few seats but it also captured others.

The LDF not only retained the three seats in Kasaragod but gained an additional seat, Azhikode in Kannur district. The huge victory margins of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom and Health Minister K.K. Shailaja in Mattanur is an endorsement and acceptance from the electorate. But the vote-share of LDF candidates in many segments dwindled in its traditional belts.

However in Wayanad, the LDF lost its sitting Kalpetta seat, which was offered to the Loktantrik Janata Dal this time. Here party State president M.V. Shreyams Kumar was humbled by KPCC vice president T. Siddique. But the front retained the Mananthavady seat in the hill region.

Similarly in Kozhikode, the front lost the Vadakara seat to Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI) nominee K.K. Rema, who was backed by the UDF. Here also the LJD contested under the seat-sharing pact of the LDF. While the CPI(M) captured the Kuttiyadi seat from Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in a keen contest, the Left-backed Independent legislator Karat Razak lost to IUML’s M.K. Muneer, who was shifted by the party to wrest the Koduvally seat.

At the same time, the IUML lost its sitting seat in Kozhikode South where the party has fielded a woman candidate – Noorbina Rasheed – after a gap of 25 years.

Despite fielding a number of Independent Muslim candidates, the LDF failed to breach the bastions of the IUML in Malappuram district. Former Minister K.T. Jaleel, who resigned a week ago in the wake of the Lokayukta finding him guilty of abuse of power and favouritism, just managed to scrape through in Thavanur.

Palakkad which saw some exciting photo-finish moments in some constituencies also gave an upper hand to the LDF. However, the victory of CPI(M) leader M.B. Rajesh over Congress legislator V.T. Balaram would be remembered by the party for a long time to come in electoral politics.

The BJP saw its major defeats in Manjeswaram and Palakkad after its State president K. Surendran and technocrat E. Sreedharan lost the race.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 7:34:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-repeat-of-a-familiar-pattern-in-malabar/article34465202.ece

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