KOCHI: Twenty20, which governs the Kizhakkambalam panchayat, has decided to vote against UDF candidate in Chalakudy Benny Behanan, in a big blow to his chances in the general election. Twenty20, the CSR arm of Kitex Group, made a big statement in the last local body polls by winning 17 out of the 19 wards in Kizhakkambalam, which comes under the Chalakkudy LS segment.
What has irked Twenty20 is Behanan’s statements that a panchayat cannot determine the fate of a Lok Sabha constituency and that he had not heard about ‘Twenty20’ other than the cricket game format. Behanan, who is also the UDF convenor, had said the Lok Sabha election was not a cricket match.“We have decided to vote against Benny Behanan. We are not telling our members to vote for any specific candidate. They are free to decide on any candidate other than Benny Behanan,” said Kitex CMD Sabu Jacob.
He said there are around 20,000 votes for Twenty20, and it could prove decisive in the Chalakkudy seat, where Behanan is pitted against incumbent MP Innocent, who is contesting as a CPM candidate. Behanan, meanwhile, is recuperating after an angioplasty at a private hospital following a heart attack. He has been advised to take rest for two weeks, and hence, cannot campaign in the crucial period.
In whose favour?
Chalakudy is a Christian-dominated segment and it is likely that Twenty20 votes may go in favour of Innocent. In 2014, Innocent, who fought as a Left-backed independent, defeated Congress leader PC Chacko by a margin of 13,884 votes.