UDF braves the ‘red’ tide in Ernakulam

The front retains nine out of 14 seats in the district

The 2021 Assembly polls will go down in the annals of the political history of Ernakulam district as the one that presented a consolation victory to the United Democratic Front (UDF), as it braved the red tide which swept the State.

While almost all UDF citadels in the State fell, the front stood strong in Ernakulam. It retained its tally of nine out of 14 seats in the district.

While the Congress wrested back Thripunithura from the CPI(M), it lost Kunnathunad and Kalamassery to the party, thus ending the supremacy it had maintained in the constituencies for long.

In Thripunithura, the beleaguered K. Babu of the Congress staged a comeback in a thrilling competition which lasted till the final rounds of counting. Besides a stiff competition from his nearest rival M. Swaraj, the former Excise Minister had to overcome resistance from his own party workers to emerge victorious.

P. Rajeev, the State secretariat member of the CPI(M), began a new innings in his political career by posting his first-ever win in an electoral battle. He trounced V.E. Abdul Gafoor of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), who too had faced an internal revolt, by an impressive margin of over 11,000 votes.

The defeat of the League candidate will reignite the ember of organisational issues in the district unit of the party, as a section of local leaders had earlier made an open revolt against the candidature of Mr. Gafoor, son of former Minister V.K. Ibrahim Kunju, who was arrested in the Palarivattom flyover case.

After two Assembly polls, Kunnathunad took a turn to the Left, as P.V. Sreenijin defeated two-time legislator and Congress leader V.P. Sajeendran. The contest had attracted wide attention, as Twenty 20, a non-political formation, too was in the fray in the constituency.

The CPI suffered a setback in the district, as it lost Muvattupuzha to the Congress. Mathew Kuzhalnadan won the seat for the Congress, defeating Eldho Abraham of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) by a margin of over 6,000 votes.

Though V.D. Satheesan (Paravur), T.J. Vinod (Ernakulam), Eldhose Kunnappilly (Perumbavoor), and Anwar Sadath (Aluva) continued their winning streak, the reduced margin with which they romped home will force them to sit back and introspect.

The reduced victory margin of K.N. Unnikrishnan of the LDF in Vypeen may force the CPI(M) to review the political situation, as he managed to win by just around 5,000 votes in the constituency which gave S. Sarma, his predecessor, an impressive winning margin of 19,353 votes in the last elections.

K.J. Maxy will go to the State Assembly with his head held high, as he could increase his margin by nearly 12 times. Mr. Maxy defeated former Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany by a margin of 12,455 votes, thus improving his performance in the process. In 2016, he had won by a wafer-thin margin of 1,086 votes.

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