IUML loses Kozhikode South, its sitting seat

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) lost its sitting seat Kozhikode South to the Indian National League (INL) in an iconic fight. Fielding a woman candidate after a quarter of a century in place of sitting MLA M.K. Muneer, who contested from Koduvally this time, has backfired. For the INL, it is sweet revenge, winning back a constituency after 10 years.

Ahmed Devarkovil of the INL, never seemed to have a sure shot at the seat, especially since the party did not have a strong base here. However, the LDF wave in the district and systematic campaigning by party workers seems to have favoured him too.

Of the 1,18,451 votes polled, Mr. Devarkovil got 52,587 votes as against his major opponent Noorbina Rasheed of the IUML, who bagged 40,098 votes. Navya Haridas, the BJP candidate, polled 24,873 votes.

The constituency, which was known as Kozhikode-1 before the delimitation, never had any unwavering loyalty towards any party, though with a large Muslim population, the parties tried to woo the electorate by fielding Muslim candidates all the time. It was a sitting seat of the IUML before the delimitation.

Possible reasons

Ms. Rasheed, a former councillor of Kozhikode Corporation, and a former member of the Kerala Women’s Commission, did not find much acceptance from the party workers in the constituency in the beginning. Though that was sorted out, Ms. Rasheed not being an active party worker or not familiar among the public, especially women, whom she wanted to represent, seems to have become her drawback. However, the resentment over the lack of development in the constituency under Dr. Muneer seems to have been a major deciding factor.

Dr. Muneer had won from the new Kozhikode South constituency in 2011 by a margin of less than 1,500 votes, but increased his margin considerably in 2016. He was Minister of Social Justice in his first term and had come up with several innovative projects, but failed to make much of an impact in his second term. There was always a comparison with the neighbouring Kozhikode North constituency, an LDF bastion, which led to the backlash.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 2:39:26 AM |

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