Election campaigning yet to catch up in LDF stronghold

Kozhikode, Mar 27: Election fever has yet to catch up in Kozhikode district, considered a Left Democratic Front stronghold even after filing of nominations for the April 13 assembly polls concluded on Saturday, Mar 26.

The CPI headed front had created history in the 2006 election, decimating Opposition Congress led UDF by winning 11 of 12 seats and even UDF citadels- Koduvally and Thiruvambadi.

UDF managed to win Kunnamangalam constituency.

Delimitation has not only redrawn contours of almost every assembly constituency but also brought some fresh changes like increasing the total number of constituencies from 12 to 13 in the district.The most important change is that Kozhikode I and II have been renamed Kozhikode North and South respectively.

Kozhikode South is now the focal point with former Minister Dr M K Muneer of Indian Union Muslim League pitted against Corporation Councillor C P Muzaffar Ahamed of LDF.

However, an even contest is on the cards in this urban constituency, which has a tradition of changing its stance.

Muzaffar Ahamed is the son of former MLA C P Kunhu,who had lost to Muneer by over 3900 votes in the 1991 assembly polls. This is the fifth time Muneer is contesting assembly polls.

His first innings was in 1991 from this constituency when he faced Kunhu.In 1996 he defeated Elamaram Kareem and in 2001 routed T P M Sahir. However, in 2006 Muneer went down to CPI(M)-supported LDF candidate Manjalamkuzhi Ali, who had recently joined IUML from Manakada.

Muneer (48) a medical practitioner-turned politician is the son of IUML leader and former Kerala Chief Minister C H Mohammed Koya, was PWD minister during 2001-2006.

Muneer, a known cartoonist and singer, is also Chairman of Malayalam television channel, India Vision.

He had to face wrath of party workers after the channel had aired fresh revelations about IUML General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty in the infamous ''ice cream parlour sex scandal case''. Muneer had openly denied any involvement in the telecast and supported Kunhalikutty.

Though the morale of IUML is high after merger of P M A Salam faction of Indian National League with IUML and the performance of UDF in the parliament and civil elections, it will have a tough task on hand.

The LDF camp hopes the existing political situation and welfare measures of the LDF government will benefit their candidate.

Though BJP is not a major force in the constituency, it was the first to begin electioneering and also in the state. It has fielded Jaya Sadanandan, its District Secretary, fighting an assembly election for the first time.

With national and state level leaders of various parties expected to visit the constituency, campaigning is expected to pick up in the coming days.


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