KERALA

CPI(M) experiment fails in Ponnani

Victory hailed: IUML leaders congratulating their candidates E. Ahamed and E.T. Mohammed Basheer in the presence of party State president Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal at his house at Panakkad on Saturday.

Victory hailed: IUML leaders congratulating their candidates E. Ahamed and E.T. Mohammed Basheer in the presence of party State president Syed Mohammedali Shihab Thangal at his house at Panakkad on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

MALAPPURAM: Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) candidate E.T. Mohammed Basheer trounced Husain Randathani, Independent candidate backed by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), by a margin of 82,684 votes in Ponnani.

The victory of Mr. Basheer sounded the death knell of a historic experiment the CPI (M) tried out in Ponnani by allying with the PDP led by Abdul Nasir Maudany. The CPI(M)’s plan of challenging the IUML by backing a Muslim Independent candidate in Ponnani suffered a jolt as Mr. Basheer took a clear lead over Dr. Randathani in all Assembly segments except Thrithala. Dr. Randathani got a lead of 2,677 votes in Thrithala, traditionally considered a bastion of the CPI(M).

The United Democratic Front (UDF) described its victory in Ponnani as a setback to the “wrong and dangerous” experiment conducted by the CPI(M).

Mr. Basheer maintained a steady lead over Dr. Randathani as counting progressed at two centres in Malappuram. The ballot of Thrithala, Ponnani and Tavanur Assembly segments were counted at M.S.P. Higher Secondary School, Malappuram. The votes cast in Tirurangadi, Tanur, Tirur and Kottakkal Assembly segments were counted at the Girls Higher Secondary School, Malappuram.

Mr. Basheer secured 3,85,801 votes (50.2 percentage) while Dr. Randathani got 3,03,117 votes (39.5 percentage). Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate K. Janachandran won only 57,710 votes (7.5 %).

This was the lowest vote share of the BJP in Ponnani in the elections held since the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Idathupaksha Ekopana Samiti candidate R.P.Azad was pushed to the sixth position in Ponnani. He could win only 2,636 votes.

There were five namesakes for Mr. Husain Randathani in the fray. They collectively won 9,580 votes (1.25 percentage). One of them won 3,413 votes.

However, Mr. Basheer’s margin was so high that the votes wrested by Dr. Randathani’s namesakes did not matter.

In postal votes too, Mr. Basheer had an edge. He got 458 postal votes while Dr. Randathani got 456. Mr. Janachandran got 34 postal votes and Dr. Azad, seven.

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