Assembly elections in northern Kerala typically see a repeat of a pattern familiar with the dominance of the CPI (M) -led Left Democratic Front (LDF), regardless of which coalition comes to the fore. power in the state.
But this time around, the pro-outgoing wave seems to have helped the LDF win more or less the same number of seats as in the 2016 polls. By sweeping the election, the LDF took advantage of voters’ positive attitude towards the government. by Pinarayi Vijayan.
Out of the 60 seats in the districts of Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad, the LDF emerged victorious in 36 segments. The front lost a few seats but also captured others.
The LDF not only retained the three seats in Kasaragod but obtained an additional seat, Azhikode in Kannur district. The huge margins of victory of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom and Minister of Health KK Shailaja in Mattanur are an endorsement and acceptance by the electorate. But the share of LDF candidate votes in many segments has shrunk in its traditional belts.
However in Wayanad, the LDF lost its Kalpetta seated seat, which was offered this time to Loktantrik Janata Dal. Here, the party’s state chairman, MV Shreyams Kumar, was humiliated by KPCC vice chairman T. Siddique. But the front retained the siege of Mananthavady in the hill region.
Likewise in Kozhikode, the front lost the seat of Vadakara in favor of the Marxist Revolutionary Party of India (RMPI) candidate KK Rema, which was supported by the UDF. Here also the LJD contested within the framework of the pact of division of the seats of the LDF. As the CPI (M) captured the Kuttiyadi seat of the Muslim League of Indian Union (IUML) in a bitter fight, left-backed independent lawmaker Karat Razak lost to IUML MP Muneer, which was moved by the party to wrest the siege from Koduvally.
At the same time, the IUML lost its seat in Kozhikode Sud where the party fielded a candidate – Noorbina Rasheed – after a 25-year gap.
Despite the presentation of a number of independent Muslim candidates, the LDF failed to break through the IUML strongholds in the Malappuram district. Former minister KT Jaleel, who resigned a week ago following the trial of the Lokayukta guilty of abuse of power and favoritism, has just managed to sneak into Thavanur.
Palakkad, who had some exciting photo-finish moments in some constituencies, also gave the LDF the upper hand. However, the victory of CPI leader (M) MB Rajesh over congressional lawmaker VT Balaram will long be remembered by the party in electoral politics.
The BJP suffered its major defeats in Manjeswaram and Palakkad after its state president K. Surendran and technocrat E. Sreedharan lost the race.