UDF, LDF hope to make gains at rival’s cost
Both the main fronts, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M]-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) are keeping their fingers crossed over the poll outcome in 13 Assembly constituency segments in Kozhikode district.
Leaders of political parties are trying out different methods from the booth-level on calculating which way the election will turn out on May 2. “The LDF will make a clean sweep. We are confident of retaining all our sitting seats. And we hope to capture the Kuttiyadi and the Kozhikode South seats as well,” P. Mohanan, district secretary of CPI(M), said.
The Left parties had stolen a march over its rivals in the electioneering as they had been able to choose their candidates without big hurdles unlike the Congress. But the unrest in the local cadre over allotting the Kuttiyadi seat to the Jose K. Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (M) rocked the party initially.
Then, the party chose former Kozhikode district panchayat president K.P. Kunhammed Kutty to fight the polls. “Last time we lost Kuttiyadi, but this time we will wrest the seat,” Mr. Mohanan said.
Doubts have been raised within the party about the winnability in the Koduvally segment where LDF-backed independent Karat Razak is seeking re-election. Here, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) fielded M.K. Muneer, who had successfully won from Kozhikode South constituency. Mr. Mohanan, however, maintained that Mr. Razak, as a legislator, had done good work in Koduvally . “He should emerge victorious,” he said.
In the case of Kozhikode South, he said that CPI(M) fully backed the Indian National League (INL), its electoral partner to capture the seat.
Meanwhile, in the UDF camp, leaders are quite excited about the campaign of the front towards the final stages. The last time, it secured just two seats and these were won by the IUML.
Despite permutations and combinations done at the State and district levels, the Congress chose its nominees at the last moment. Right from the beginning, the Congress leadership mismanaged the crisis when local leaders decided on KPCC executive member U.V. Dinesh Mani for the Elathur seat.
Only after parleys did Congress leader M.K. Raghavan, MP, climb down from his defiant stance against the UDF’s official candidate, Sulfikkar Mayuri of Nationalist Congress Kerala (NCK). The result in Elathur, for the leadership, is a foregone conclusion, a humiliating defeat. But the UDF has hopes to capture the Koduvally and Kunnamangalam segments. The IUML has fielded DCC secretary Dinesh Perumanna as an independent to take on LDF-backed sitting legislator P.T.A. Rahim.
Also, they have high expectations of wresting the Vadakara seat where the coalition has backed K.K. Rema, wife of the slain RMP founder, T.P. Chandrasekharan. The Congress is also looking forward to springing a surprise in Nadapuram, Koyilandy, and Kozhikode North segments. If there is no undercurrent, the party will capture the Thiruvambady seat also, they said.
In the case of the BJP, which has fielded only party nominees in all the seats in district, has pinned its hopes on State general secretary M.T. Ramesh to upset the apple-cart of both the fronts.
The party also has wild expectations on winning the Kunnamangalam and Elathur segments. However, their leaders said the party would dramatically improve its performance.
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