KERALA

Chalakudy goes the UDF way

Staff Reporter

Thrissur: The UDF has recaptured its traditional stronghold Chalakudy constituency (formerly Mukundapuram), which it had lost to the LDF in the 2004 elections. Congress candidate K.P. Dhanapalan won with an impressive majority of 71,679 votes, defeating his CPI(M) rival U.P. Joseph.

“After the final round of campaign, I knew the wind was blowing in favour of the UDF,” said Mr. Dhanapalan. He attributed his victory to the anti-LDF wave in the State and the people-friendly policies of the UPA government. It was a sweet comeback for the UDF in Chalakudy after LDFs Lonappan Nambadan created history by scoring a majority of 1.17 lakh votes against Padmaja Venugopal in the 2004 election. Carved out of the now defunct Mukundapuram Lok Sabha constituency, Chalakudy comprises three Assembly segments in Thrissur district (Kaipamangalam, Chalakudy and Kodungalloor) and four in Ernakulam district (Perumbavur, Angamaly, Aluva and Kunnathunad).

While the Irinjalakuda Assembly segment of former Mukundapuram, a UDF bastion, was shifted to Thrissur Lok Sabha seat, the newly-formed pro-LDF Kaipamangalam Assembly segment was added to Chalakudy. The UDF scored a majority in Angamaly Assembly segment (18,861), which had a sizable Christian vote bank, followed by Aluva (13,685 votes) and Kunnathunad (12,894).

“The failure of the LDF in Chalakudy was a reflection of the anti-Left wave that swept the State. Consolidation of communal votes in favour of the UDF had also influenced,” said Mr. Joseph.

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