Kerala

Friction over candidate selection in the UDF

Friction over seat-sharing and candidate selection appeared to plague the United Democratic Front (UDF) in some measure on Monday.

The challenge appeared more pronounced in Kollam district. Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and Kerala Students Union (KSU) have decried the UDF’s proposal to cede Chadayamangalam constituency to the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

The organisations staged an open protest in Kadakkal and raised banners against the putative arrangement.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary M. M. Nazeer told The Hindu that the IUML did not even have a committee in the Assembly segment. Ceding the seat to the IUML would drive Hindu votes to the BJP. Fearing a BJP surge, Christian and Muslim votes would gravitate towards the LDF, he said.

Mullakkara Ratnakaran of the CPI had defeated M. M. Hassan of the Congress by nearly 20,000 votes in Chadayamangalam in 2016. BJP had increased its vote share by 10% while that of the UDF and LDF plummeted almost seven and four per cent, respectively.

In Pathanamthitta, candidate selection has re-emerged as the bone of contention between two factions in the Congress. Posters had appeared against Robin Peter, a purported ally of Adoor Prakash, MP, reckoned to be the Congress candidate for Konni.

The rumblings of dissent in the Congress in Konni had emerged in the run-up to the 2019 Assembly byelection. Mr. Prakash, the incumbent MLA, had got elected to the Lok Sabha from Attingal. Mr. Prakash wanted Mr. Peter to contest from Konni. However, Congress choose P. Mohanraj. LDF candidate K. U. Jenish Kumar trounced him by nearly 10,000 votes.

BJP State president K. Sudhakaran had come up a close third in the polls, trailing Mr. Mohanraj by nearly 4,000 votes. He had also increased the BJP's vote share by roughly 17%.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:15:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/friction-over-candidate-selection-in-the-udf/article33963960.ece

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