UDF repeats victory in Manjeshwaram; gains lead by 7923 votes


Ajith Tom

Kasaragod: Without giving any surprising result, Manjeshwaram assembly constituency witnessed the victory of UDF candidate M. C. Kamarudeen in the by-election. Though UDF won by a meagre margin of two digit number last time, Kamarudeen managed to increase margin to 7923 votes this time. The bypoll was conducted after sitting MLA P. B. Abdul Razak passed away in October last year.

NDA candidate Raveesha Tantri Kundar came second by securing 57,484 votes and LDF candidate Sankar Rai could get only 38,233 votes. UDF had won Manjeshwaram assembly seat for mere 89 votes in 2016 and increased the lead to 7923 in the bypoll now.

Though the LDF had a light loss, BJP faced a major setback compared to the failure in 2016. Muslim League had stated in their campaigns that BJP will have to face the setback for false campaign on bogus voting. Also the UDF could highlight the Sabarimala issue and Periya twin murder against the government.

As the margin of UDF victory was mere 89 votes in 2016, NDA fielded a candidate belonging to linguistic minority to capture the seat. Raveesha Tantri Kundar was BJP candidate in Kasaragod in 2016 assembly polls and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. But he could not gain as many votes as Surendran secured last time.

Apart from C. Kunjambu’s victory in 2006, LDF has never won any seat in Manjeshwaram. Among the 140 assembly constituencies, Manjeshwaram is considered as the least hopeful seat for LDF and so their failure is not devastating. However, LDF was a strong presence during the campaigns. Chief minister, other ministers and party leaders were active in the constituency.

For Muslim League, the victory in Manjeshwaram is an added advantage of them. With this, they have 18 MLAs and three MPs.

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