As mercury rises, so does poll heat

Candidates in Kozhikode South brave the heat to meet voters

The sun seemed near the zenith and Noorbina Rasheed was sweating profusely. For the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) candidate from Kozhikode South, her day begins at the break of dawn and goes on till late at night. On Saturday, she was back in her turf, the Mukhadar ward of Kozhikode Corporation, where she had served as councillor for five years.

“It is me, Noorbina, the same old Noorbina,” she said to a woman who looked at her keenly. A smile of recognition spread on the elderly voter’s face. Ms. Rasheed reminded her of the time when they had voted her to the Corporation and requested them to do the same once again. “And the symbol remains the same, the ladder,” she added.

Ms. Rasheed’s candidature came as a surprise from the IUML, which had not fielded a woman to the Assembly for a quarter of a century. “She is a bundle of energy. We cannot match up to her,” said a party worker accompanying her.

Health Minister K.K. Shylaja with LDF candidate for Kozhikode South, Ahamed Devarkovil, during the latter’s campaign at Mankavu in Kozhikode on Saturday.  

It was also a hectic day for Ms. Rasheed’s main opponent, Ahamed Devarkovil of the Left Democratic Front (LDF). Waiting for Health Minister K.K. Shylaja to turn up at the Mankavu Junction, Mr. Devarkovil was busy entertaining his little fans and workers, who were vying for selfies with the candidate. “Children like him a lot,” said a party worker.

Later, standing along side Ms. Shylaja on an open jeep moving towards Mankavu Maidan where a rally was being held, Mr. Devarkovil confidently waved at the party workers and the public. The national general secretary of the Indian National League has a huge responsibility on his shoulders — to win the seat back after ten years.

BJP candidate Navya Haridas with an elderly voter at Mankavu in Kozhikode South constituency on Saturday. 

Campaigning in the hot sun, Navya Haridas of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) seemed to hide her fatigue well. “Don’t we all need change,” she asked a couple on a scooter. Ms. Haridas was quick on her feet, running from one house to another, accompanied by her entourage of party workers. She wound up her house visits at Mankavu by 10 a.m. and quickly moved on to Panniyankara and nearby areas. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of making a mark in Kozhikode South, with three Corporation wards within the constituency under its belt.

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