KOZHIKODE: Overcoming the adverse fallout of a TV sting operation, negative campaign unleashed by the LDF and the baggage of incumbency, two-time Congress MP M K Raghavan scored a hat-trick by comfortably wresting Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency. He won the seat with a margin of over 85,000 votes which was more than five times the lead he secured in 2014.
Raghavan’s win is worrisome for the LDF as its candidate A Pradeep Kumar MLA trailed the Congress candidate in all seven assembly segments, including his sitting seat Kozhikode (North). Ironically, the LDF had secured an impressive win in all but two assembly segments in Kozhikode during the previous Assembly election.
For the LDF which was pulling out all stops to wrest back the seat it lost in 2009, the TV sting operation - which purportedly claimed Raghavan demanded a kickback - was a golden opportunity.
The sting operation, coming just weeks before the election, caused quite a stir. Though Pradeep Kumar was careful not to raise this issue openly, his campaign committee secretary P A Mohamad Riyas approached the Election Commission and the state police chief with a complaint against Raghavan.