KOZHIKODE: Six out of seven Assembly seats in its kitty with a brute majority in two Assembly segments from Kannur district, Vadakara parliamentary constituency is virtually a red fortress now, claims the LDF. The homecoming of Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) and absence of Congress heavyweight and two-time MP Mullapally Ramachandran from the fray this time has further bolstered the Left’s confidence.
No wonder, LDF big brother CPM is hell-bent on winning back Vadakara. At the same time, ally LJD’s demand for the seat cannot be ignored as the party claims it has at least 70,000 votes in the constituency. The CPM will have to do a fine balancing act of wresting Vadakara while also keeping the LJD in good humour at the same time.
“Except Kuttiadi Assembly segment, where the Muslim League won with a slender margin, all other Assembly segments in Vadakara are now with the LDF. The Congress is still groping in the dark for a suitable candidate. Thanks to the consolidation of Socialists who have considerable influence in the constituency and our own resurgent cadre, Vadakara can be easily wrested this time,” said a senior CPM leader.
However, the constituency has shown a distinct pattern of alternating between both fronts in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. If one goes by the trend, UDF may have a chance this time. But the return of LJD to the Left camp can upset the trend.
A quid pro quo deal?
According to CPM sources, if LJD persists on its demand for a seat, it may be offered neighbouring Kozhikode constituency where the CPM is not very comfortably placed. Despite wresting five of the seven Assembly segments in Kozhikode constituency in 2016, LDF is doubtful of a win. Reason: Two-time MP M K Raghavan’s popularity and the predictable huge swing of votes from Muslim League strongholds in his favour. Offering Kozhikode to LJD will be a quid pro quo for its support for the CPM in Vadakara, sources said.
LJD is ready to put all its might at the hustings this time. It’s the first election after homecoming to the LDF and the party needs to prove its strength now for a better bargain in the coming elections. “We will insist on Vadakara where we are confident of proving our might. However, if LDF decides that we contest from Kozhikode, we are ready to give a tough fight there too. We have recorded significant wins in Kozhikode in the previous Lok Sabha elections,” said LJD general secretary Sheikh P Harris when asked about the possibility.
Mullappally confident of win
Vadakara’s sitting MP and KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran has dismissed CPM’s claims that the constituency has now turned completely ‘red’. “Vadakara has one the most enlightened electorates in the state. As a two time MP from the constituency, I can surely say they will choose the UDF which is truly a secular and democratic force to reckon with. Through muscle power and intimidation of rivals, the CPM may feel confident in Thalassery and Koothuparamba. But that won’t be enough to ensure it a win,” Mullappally told Express in the midst of his Janamaha Yatra. However, Congress sources said finding a candidate of Mullapally’s stature is a tough challenge.