Campaign pitch rises in Elathur

Saseendran looks for a hat-trick as Mayuri puts up a strong fight

Virtual assistants — Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant — may not have a clue about the winner in Elathur Assembly constituency in Kozhikode district.

But voters in the segment are certain about the victory of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran who is running for the third time in a row.

And, perhaps that gives the confidence to Mr. Saseendran for a hat-trick win in Elathur, the 13th segment in the district that was carved out after delimitation a decade ago. A reason cited is that the constituency is a bastion of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the major partner in the Left Democratic Front.

Besides, Mr. Saseendran says that the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has fielded a weak and insignificant candidate against him. However, he is highlighting the development projects in Elathur during his campaigns. “The segment is a peripheral area of Kozhikode city. It has now started seeing developments in the last few years. More projects will be implemented,” he says.

He adds that the Kozhikode-Balussery road will be materialised with the support of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

“Now, the UDF says it will totally disband KIIFB if it comes to power. And, that will hit development activities in Elathur,” he tells voters.

Back on track

His rival, Sulfikar Mayuri, after facing stiff resistance from local Congress leaders over his candidature initially is finally back on the electioneering track. The Congress offered the seat to his party, the Nationalist Congress Kerala (NCK), under the seat-sharing pact. “In seven days, we have turned the tables on the LDF camp. Now, leaders of the Congress, Indian Union Muslim League, and a section of the Janata Dal (S) are aggressively campaigning in Elathur,” Mr. Mayuri said.

UDF candidate Sulfikar Mayuri seeking voters at Pallipoyil in Elathur.  

At election meetings, he reminds voters that Elathur is so underdeveloped even though the Assembly segment was represented by a Minister. “Do you have a good hospital? The roads are in a dilapidated condition. Drinking water problem remains unsolved. Even the KSRTC Pavangad bus depot has turned into a graveyard for buses,” he said.

An opportunity

The absence of mainstream political parties in the constituency, meanwhile, has given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) an opportunity to make a huge impact in Elathur. The party has fielded its north zone president T.P. Jayachandran, also an influential local leader and retired school teacher, to aggressively take on both his opponents.

BJP candidate T.P. Jayachandran seeking votes at Chelannur.  

In the previous polls, the party had received over 29,000 votes in the segment. It would not be surprising if he finishes even second at the hustings. “The situation is conducive for the BJP. This time we hope to secure the votes of disgruntled CPI(M) and Congress supporters,” Shobeendran Chelannur, a poll manager, said.

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