UDF hopes to stop Left in its tracks in Koyilandy

However, LDF candidate is confident of retaining the seat

Kanathil Jameela, Kozhikode district panchayat president, has a calm demeanour.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate from Koyilandy exudes confidence that her victory is a certainty, as she sits for a quick interaction on Wednesday afternoon. She was at the house of her colleague M.P. Sivanandan at Muchukunnu after a hectic campaign schedule.

“The development projects initiated by the incumbent MLA, K. Dasan, will boost my chances. Works taken up by the LDF government have benefited the people too. My administrative experience as the head of three-tier panchayats is an added advantage,” she says. For the record, Ms. Jameela had been president of the Thalakkulathur grama panchayat and Chelannur block panchayat. This is her second tenure at the helm of affairs of the district panchayat.

However, Ms. Jameela claimed that her political opponents had now resorted to a social media campaign against her to mislead the Muslim community. “Some people have edited the video of a speech that I delivered at a seminar long ago, to claim that I am an atheist. It is completely false, and the move is to confuse people. My opponents have nothing else to say against me. That is why they are personally targeting me,” she said. LDF candidates have been winning from Koyilandy for three successive terms now, and Ms. Jameela is quite sure of retaining the seat.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) believes that voters will have a rethink this time around. N. Subrahmanyan, senior Congress leader and the UDF candidate, said the situation in Koyilandy was favourable to him, as he seeks votes at Thazheangadi. “Since my defeat last time, I have been part of the constituency for five years. I have visited each nook and corner of Koyilandy. I have been with the people in their hours of sorrow,” he claimed.

Mr. Subrahmanyan pointed out that unlike before, the party rank and file never raised a banner of revolt against the candidature in Koyilandy this time. “Leaders such as P. Sankaran, M.T. Padma, and K.P. Anil Kumar have had to face local rebellion when their candidatures were announced here. It was not the case this time. The LDF had a lead of over 3,000 votes in the local body polls. But we will overcome it easily,” Mr. Subrahmanyan added.

N.P. Radhakrishnan, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, meanwhile, dismisses questions about his chances of victory. “We are not contesting to increase votes or vote share. We want to win,” as he campaigns around Manayilparambu area in Chengottukavu. “I have been active in the coastal belt for 35 years. Those who call me a weak candidate are neglecting my work during disasters when I risked my life to save people. There is a secret pact between the UDF and the LDF, and our effort is to convince people about it,” he added.

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