Intense battle in Kannur as Congress, CPI(M), and BJP vie for dominance

09:32 AM Apr 21, 2024 | PTI |

Kannur (Kerala): The Northern Kerala constituency of Kannur is witnessing an intense battle between the Congress and the CPI(M), while the BJP is focusing on the newly registered young voters to make an impact in the seat.


With 39 percent minorities, including Muslims and Christians, the voters often support the CPI(M)-LDF in most of the assembly seats falling under this Parliament constituency in the polls to the legislature, but the Lok Sabha constituency has often swayed towards the Congress-led UDF, hoping to replace the BJP at the Centre.

The strong minority vote base is what helped the UDF win the seat as the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) is its major partner. The rubber farmers in areas like Irikkur and Peravoor, predominantly Christians, have also been a strong vote bank for the Congress.

Hoping to retain the seat this time as well, the Congress has fielded Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief K Sudhakaran here. Considering his candidature in the seat, Sudhakaran had recently temporarily handed over his organizational responsibility to his party colleague M M Hassan.

Sudhakaran did not want to contest the elections this time, but he entered the fray as the party leadership felt that there was nobody who could ensure a win in Kannur for Congress other than him, the party’s local strongman.


“I am confident about the win and am only bothered about bettering my majority,” Sudhakaran, the sitting MP, told PTI during his campaign at Kandakassery near Payyavoor.

Sudhakaran, who has landed in controversies several times by his remarks supporting the BJP during the fight between the saffron party and the CPI(M) in the district, reiterated that the main enemy of Congress in Kerala is the Left party.

“They are the enemy number 1 in Kerala, and the BJP comes only second. The BJP has no strength in Kerala, and our main fight is against the LDF, against their politics of violence,” Sudhakaran said.

The Congress, in their campaigns in Kerala, mainly focuses on criticizing the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government because of this, he added.

The 75-year-old Sudhakaran is the topmost leader who helped Congress sustain its presence in the CPI(M)-dominated Kannur politics and hopes that people will support him once again to get to the Parliament.

CPI(M), however, is not ready to let history bother them and has fielded M V Jayarajan, the Kannur district secretary of the party.

Campaigning at Aichery in Irikkur, Jayarajan was received by enthusiastic party workers with drum beatings and paper flower spray.

Without much of an introduction, he addressed the gathering, telling them to be aware of “the danger the country is in.” “The Congress has no politics to speak about and is now engaged in a defamation campaign against the LDF candidates,” Jayarajan told the gathering, referring to allegations of cyberbullying against the party’s candidate in the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat, K K Shailaja, allegedly by the workers of the Congress-led UDF.

“The LDF is going to win back Kannur this time. Congress has been taking a stand to support the BJP. They do not want to speak about the key issues and are only involved in a defamation campaign against LDF candidates due to a fear of losing,” Jayarajan alleged, while talking to PTI.

He said the Congress has been trying to destabilise even the INDIA bloc, and their leaders have been marching to the BJP.

When the CPI(M) and the Congress see a little chance of the BJP even registering a fight at Kannur, the NDA camp is confident, not only of improving their vote share, but even winning the seat.

NDA candidate C Raghunath, who had joined the BJP from Congress, said, “We have about 35 per cent newly enrolled voters, and our focus is on those votes.” He alleged that the CPI(M) and the Congress have been “spreading lies” about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). “Many of the Muslim brethren have come to me and have extended their support to me,” Raghunath claimed.

He said that he is confident that this time NDA is going to win from Kannur.

“Until recently, everyone spoke about improving the vote share for NDA, but this time we speak about winning seats,” Raghunath told PTI.


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