Kozhikode, Apr 4: With hardly a week to go for polling, the Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency is witnessing a high voltage campaign by the key contestants- sitting MP M K Raghavan (Cong) of the UDF and CPI(M)'s A Vijayaraghavan of the Left Democratic Front, making it one of the prestigious contests in North Kerala.
BJP is also in the fray fielding one of its senior leaders and former State President C K Padmanabhan. The constituency consists of seven Assembly segments-- Elathur, Kozhikode North, Beypore, Kunnamangalam, Balussery, Koduvally and Kozhikode South.
UDF is playing the 'development' theme to ensure a comfortable victory
The 2009 polls witnessed a neck-and-neck affair, between the UDF's M K Raghavan and LDF's P A Mohammed Riyas, before the former sneaked through with a slender margin of 838 votes. The sizeable lead Raghavan got from the Koduvally Assembly segment helped the UDF in the race. However, in the 2011 Kerala Assembly elections, the LDF won the four Assembly segments of Elathur, Kozhikode North, Beypore and Kunnamangalam.
UDF is playing the 'development' theme to ensure a comfortable victory for its nominee, while LDF is focusing on the 'restore Kozhikode's pride' theme to wrest the constituency through Vijayaraghavan, a two-time MP and CPI(M) Central Committee member. Electioneering has picked up momentum with the arrival of national leaders of both the fronts.
Defence Minister A K Antony, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and KPCC President V M Sudheeran have addressed meetings to enthuse UDF activists while on the other hand CPI(M) Politburo members S Ramachandran Pillai, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and State CPI(M) Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan have solicited support for their candidate.