KERALA

UDF wrests Kollam seat from LDF in tough fight

SWEET SUCCESS: N. Peethambara Kurup of the UDF who won the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency being greeted by his supporters on Saturday.

SWEET SUCCESS: N. Peethambara Kurup of the UDF who won the Kollam Lok Sabha constituency being greeted by his supporters on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: C. Suresh Kumar

Staff Reporter

Victory points to strong undercurrents

KOLLAM: The United Democratic Front (UDF) has wrested the Kollam Lok Sabha seat from the Left Democratic Front (LDF) after tasting defeat at the hands of the LDF in four consecutive Lok Sabha elections since 1996.

UDF candidate N. Peethambara Kurup (Congress) defeated his nearest rival and sitting MP P. Rajendran (CPI-M) of the LDF by a margin of 17,531 votes. Though the victory margin is not much, political observers see this victory as decisive in view of the fact that Mr. Rajendran had won the seat in the 2004 elections by a margin of 1,11,071 votes. Moreover, the CPI(M) had declared Kollam to be one of its surefire seats.

Though Kollam had witnessed a low-key contest during the campaign period, trends seen during counting revealed that the fight was tough and close. It revealed that there was a strong undercurrent in the constituency in spite of the fact that voters had extended a dull response to the campaign.

Biggest margin

Coming to the Assembly segment-wise aspect of the election, the Chavara segment had registered the highest polling percentage of 70.60. Interestingly, it is from Chavara where Mr. Kurup won by the biggest margin of 14,002 votes. In the Kollam segment, Mr. Kurup led by a margin of 10,625 votes.

Mr. Rajendran could establish slender leads in the Punalur and Chathannur segments, 372 and 1,075 votes respectively, and a noteworthy lead in the Chadayamangalam segment, ,6561 votes. Apart from the general factors that worked in favour of the UDF in the State, it was a conspicuous unity witnessed within the Kollam unit of the Congress during the campaign period in the constituency that is seen as another vital factor that helped Mr. Kurup. District chairman of the UDF Sooranad Rajashekaran described Mr. Kurup’s victory as historic.

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