K Muraleedharan defeated in UDF stronghold
Thiruvananthapuram, May 11 (UNI) Mr K Muraleedharan, son of former Kerala Chief Minister K Karunakaran, who had split from the Congress last year to form the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) and then mended fences with the party suffered a humiliating defeat in the UDF stronghold Koduvally.
Left Democratic Front supported Independent P T A Rahim, winning the seat by a margin of 7,506 votes, has shattered DIC(K) president Muraleedharn's dream of securing a seat for the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakran) in the state Assembly.
Incidentally, this is the first time in the history of Koduvally that the UDF has lost the seat to the LDF.
It was not just the President, who faced the humiliating defeat, but the entire DIC(K) camp, except one, was uprooted in the Assembly election.
The DIC(K), which had contested 18 seats, could manage to win only a single seat with most of their prominent leaders facing humiliating defeats.
Kuwait-based Thomas Chandy, who defeated K C Joseph of the LDF, is the only DIC(K) winner from among the 18 contestants.
Former minister T M Jacob, who merged his Kerala Congress (J) with the DIC(K), tasted his maiden electoral defeat in Piravam at the hands of M J Jacob of the CPI (M). Another prominent leader and sitting MLA from Ponnani M P Gangadharan could not wrest his seat and was defeated by LDF convener Paloli Mohammed Kutty by a huge margin of 28,347 votes. Former legislator and a confident of Mr Karunakaran Maleth Sarala Devi came third in Aranmula constituency.
Former legislator and DIC(K) leader Shobana George, who had shifted her constituency from Chengannur to Thiruvananthapuram West, conceded the seat to V Surendran Pillai of the CPI-M for a margin of 13,233 votes. In this constituency, she also had to face UDF rebel T Sarathchandra Prasad, who had contested the seat after denial of ticket.
Veteran leader K Karunakaran had split from the Congress in May last year to form the DIC(K). After this, he hobnobbed with the opposition and declared war on the Oommen Chandy Government. He was also with the Left Democratic Front during the Civic polls and the Thiruvananthapuram by-election. Later this year, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) dumped him and he was forced to come back to the United Democratic Front (UDF) fold.
With the DIC(K) recording a poor show in the elections, it remains to be seen whether a merger with the Congress in the near future is possible.
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