THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Contrary to expectations, constituencies in the Left bastions of the state witnessed close fights leaving the supporters on tenterhooks. In the Vadakara constituency, where the CPM fought a do-or-die battle, offered a tough fight to incumbent MP and Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran till the last hour.
While Mullappally garnered 41,6479 votes and scraped through with a slender margin of 3,306, the CPM proved that their enemies RMP was not a force to reckon with even when the elections were held against the backdrop of the memory of RMP founder T P Chandrasekharan’s murder.
A P Shamseer - a namesake of LDF candidate A N Shamseer - garnered 3,485 votes, apparently contributing to the latter’s defeat.
In the CPM stronghold of Kannur, this time the party could claim victory by P K Sreemathi by beating incumbent MP and Congress candidate K Sudhakaran by a margin of 6,566 votes. Here too, the fight continued till the last hour.
However, two namesake candidates of Sudhakaran garnered 3,306 and 3,485 votes each. If they had not been in the fray, Sudhakaran could have saved the tightly-contested elections this time too. In the Kasaragod constituency, P Karunakaran of the CPM made a hat-trick victory, though it was by a slender margin of 6,921 votes compared to his over 64,000-vote margin last time.
Here it was not T Siddique of the Congress, who came second, that ate into his margin, but the impressive performance by BJP’s K Surendran, who garnered over 1.75 lakh votes. However, the most tightly contested fight was witnessed in Thiruvananthapuram, where the margin of the triumphant did not in fact reflect the real fight the constituency had witnessed.
Even though Shashi Tharoor of the Congress won by a margin of 15,470, BJP’s O Rajagopal, who had maintained the lead till 75 percent of votes were counted, was the cynosure of all eyes. It was for the first time that a BJP candidate had come second in a Lok Sabha constituency in the state.
Contrary to expectations of tight fights in Kozhikode, Alappuzha and Kollam, the fights more or less proved to be one-sided.
While UDF candidate M K Raghavan won in Kozhikode with a majority of 16,883, K C Venugopal, with a margin of 19,407, retained his seat in Alappuzha.
Despite the huge claims of the LDF leadership to romp home easily in Kollam, N K Premachandran of the RSP garnered the seat by a margin of 37,649 votes.