Hat-trick for Kodikunnil

Registers lead in all six Assembly segments

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate and sitting MP Kodikunnil Suresh has completed a hat-trick of victories in the Mavelikara (SC reserved) Lok Sabha constituency.

The Congress leader defeated his nearest rival of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Chittayam Gopakumar (CPI) by a margin of 61,500 votes, the second highest margin of victory in the history of the seat. National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Thazhava Sahadevan finished a distant third.

The UDF candidate had polled 4,37,997 votes, followed by LDF candidate with 3,76,497 votes and NDA with 1,32,323 votes. The highest margin of victory in the constituency was recorded in 1980, when Indian National Congress (U) candidate P.J. Kurien defeated his nearest rival Thevally Madhavan Pillai by a margin of 63,122 votes.

The thumping win of Mr. Suresh has once again demonstrated that traditional caste and religious equations overshadow all other political issues in the constituency. The victory margin indicates that the Sabarimala issue had favoured the UDF candidate. The UDF was able to swing the minority and Hindu upper caste votes decisively in its favour, while other communities divided their favours almost evenly among the three fronts.

In all segments

In the constituency, where various Christian denominations, the Nair Service Society (NSS) and the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam hold considerable sway, the UDF was able to register a clear lead in all the six Assembly segments won by Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidates in the 2016 Assembly elections. In Changanasserry, the only seat won by the UDF in 2016 polls by a slender margin of 1,849 votes, Mr. Suresh posted a lead of 22,000 votes.

In Chengannur, which has an almost equal spread of Christians and Nairs and where the CPI(M) won a recent byelection, the Congress candidate polled around 10,000 votes more than his nearest rival. In the Pathanapuram and Kottarakara segments, where the NSS holds sway, Mr. Suresh impressed by polling big. The Kerala Congress (B), which switched sides to the LDF from the UDF, also failed to stop the UDF juggernaut in the two segments.

Mr. Suresh maintained a healthy lead in Kunnathur, Kuttanad and Mavelikara segments too. Besides the caste and religious equations, the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) failure to field a strong candidate also helped the UDF candidate garner more votes. The NDA had fielded Thazhava Sahadevan of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS).

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