UDF wins two seats in Wayanad; LDF retains one

After aggressively campaigning against the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (LDF) put up a convincing performance by winning two of the three seats in Wayanad district in the Assembly elections.

In the 2016 polls, the Left parties had won two seats and the UDF one, while the UDF had swept all the three seats in the 2011 Assembly polls. But this time, the UDF captured Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery, leaving the Mananthavady segment to the LDF.

T T. Siddique of the Congress won the Kalpetta seat by defeating M.V. Shreyamskumar of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) by a margin of 5,470 votes. Mr. Siddique secured 70,252 votes and Mr. Kumar got 64,782 votes.

One of the prominent victories was that of sitting MLA, I.C. Balakrishnan, of Congress from Sulthan Bathery for the third consecutive time. Mr. Balakrishnan won by a margin of 11,822, votes against M.S. Viswnathan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Mr. Balakrishnan had defeated Rugmini Subrahmanian of the CPI(M) with a margin of 11,198 in the 2016 Assembly polls. The NDA-supported tribal leader C.K. Janu got 27, 920 votes in the 2016 poll from the constituency but this time she got only 15,198 votes.

The Mananthavady seat was retained by sitting MLA, O.R. Kelu of the CPI(M). Mr. Kelu won with a margin of 9,282 votes over his rival P.K. Jayalakshmi. Mr. Kelu had defeated Ms. Jayalakshmi with a margin of 7,959 votes in 2016.

Shreyamskumar loses

The Kalpetta constituency had favoured the UDF in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the past few elections, except in the Assembly polls in 2016. Mr. Shreyamskumar of the Janata Dal (Secular) had been representing Kalpetta since 2006. However in 2016, Mr. Shreyamskumar, who was then part of the Janata Dal (United) and was with the UDF, was defeated by C.K. Saseendaran of the CPI(M) by a margin of 13,083 votes.

This time, it was a do-or-die battle for the LDF as sitting MLA, C.K. Saseendran, had stayed away from the fray to make way for Mr. Shreyamskumar.

Mr. Siddique was suggested as the candidate for the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 in the Wayanad parliamentary constituency, but made way for the entry of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the candidate.

In 2016, Mr. Siddique was a contestant of the Congress in Kunnamangalam segment in Kozhikode district but he was defeated by LDF-backed independent P.T.A. Rahim by a margin of 11, 205 votes.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 9:07:10 AM |

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