Jobs @ MG
UDF sweeps in Kerala
By Arif Zain, Malappuram
|History was repeated in Kerala once
again. This time also the electorate of the state kept its two-decade-old
tradition of changing the guard every five years. Riding on the shoulders
of a strong anti-incumbency wave the Congress led United Democratic Front
came back to power securing a record two-third majority. The verdict was
clear and was visible in all regions of the state.
UDF has swept the seats winning 99 of the 140 seats to which elections
were held. Losing many of its veterans the ruling LDF secured 40 seats and
one seat went to a UDF rebel MA Wahid from Kazhakkottam a Congress
The CPI (M) was the biggest loser in the game for it could only bag 27 out
77 seats the party fielded its candidates. The only consolation for the
party was rather colourless victory of its veteran and politburo member
Mr. V.S.Achutanandan in his Malampzha seat.
The wave was visible in north and south regions of the state alike even in
districts with proven strong left leaning. Despite its tireless effort and
high expectations the ruling party at the center, the BJP could not open
its account in Kerala Assembly. Yet another time the party failed to
secure a breakthrough, its state unit president with a smiling face C.K.
Padmanabhan finished second in his hopeful race in Manjeswaram seat of
north Kerala. He was defeated by his nearest UDF rival Mr. Abdullah
Cherkalam of Muslim League with a margin of 13188 votes. In the nearby
Kasaragode Assembly segment, another seat where the party expected
victory, Mr.P.K. Krishna Das lost to his immediate Muslim League rival Mr.
C.T. Ahmed Ali. In these two seats, it is widely believed, the UDF
nominees enjoyed a tacit support of communists.
LDF has suffered a severe jolt in the election with many of its stalwarts
facing humiliating defeats even as the entire UDF top brass found their
place in the Assembly that too with a thumping majority. Among the
prominent losers are the Speaker Mr. M.Vijaya Kumar, the Deputy Speaker,
Mr.C.A.Kurien, Mr. P.J. Joseph, Mr. K.E.Ismaeel, Mr.V.P. Ramakrishna
Pillai, Mr. Krishnan Kaniyamparambil (all ministers in Nainar cabinet) and
Mr. T.K.Hamza, the Chief Whip.
Regiona-wise analysis of the outcome of this election indicates that the
UDF victory was consistent in all the three major regions and almost all
the communities opted UDF as their choice this time. Major gainer in this
election is, naturally, the Congress the main constituent of the UDF The
party bagged 63 of 83 seats it contested, and the Muslim League the second
largest party in the UDF also improved its position securing 17 against 13
of the previous Assembly. The party had fielded 23 candidates this time.
This is of course a gain for the party. The lone non-Muslim candidate the
party fielded Mr. UC Raman won his Kundamangalam seat. Mr. Raman wrested
this seat from CPI (M). But the party suffered a major jolt with the
defeat of party's popular face and an icon of value-based politics Mr. KPA
Majeed who was defeated by his LDF backed independent candidate Mr. M. Ali
a film director in his Mankada seat from where Majeed was being elected
from 1980. Parliamentary party leader Mr. P.K. Kunj Ali Kutty was elected
from Kuttipuram seat by an overwhelming majority of 26105 votes. Dr..
M.K.Munir the president of Muslim Youth league and the son of late
legendary C.H.. Muhammad Koya securing the highest majority in the state
retained his Malappuram seat by36017 votes.
Barring Mankada party could secure all its seats in its stronghold
district of Malappuram. Besides this they were instrumental in the
landslide victory of senior Congress leaders and former ministers Mr.
Aryadan Muhammad and Mr. M.P.Gangadharan and Mr. A.P. Anil Kumar who made
his debut to the Assembly from Wandoor seat. Out of its traditional
bastion, Malappuram, the party has also made inroads in other areas too.
Party candidate Mr.T.P.M.Zahir wrested the Calicut 2 seat from C.P.I (M).and
Mr. P.K.K. Bava former minister and a party stalwart brought the
Guruvayoor seat back to the League fold.
Interestingly the Indian National League a breakaway faction of Muslim
League under the leadership of Mr. Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait could not secure
a single seat despite the backing of L.D.F. The party candidates have lost
badly in all the three seats it contested. With this the party ensured a
natural demise in nearest future.
The strong anti-incumbency wave has helped the UDF secure a two-third
majority in the state Assembly. Almost all sections of the population had
some annoyance with the ruling front. Deteriorating law and order
situation, stagnation on the economic front, price hike, political
murders, high handedness in every field, low performance of the ministers,
the communal and political violence, mismanagement of government fund in
the name of much talked people's planning and of course the widely known
tongue slip of chief minister Mr. E.K. Nayanar were the major issues heard
from the dais of the UDF during poll campaign.
But CPI (M) did not waste much time to clear the doubts raised by the UDF
camp. They were busy with upholding the advantages of people's planning
but virtually it could not counter the charges made by the UDF regarding
people's plan, and held the BJP government at the centre responsible for
all the evils the public is facing. Fed up with this, voters exercised
their franchise for a better choice. From the day one of the campaign LDF
leaders kept levelling charges against the UDF of having a clandestine tie
with BJP Refuting the charge Mr. A.K.Antony said that the UDF had no
trucks with the BJP for the Congress is the only national party which has
a past with the image of not having any tie with the old or new
incarnation of the BJP Being a part of Kerala society it is quite natural
that the individuals of having allegiance to other parties may support a
power which could ouster the Marxist misrule in the state, and there was
no consultations with any of the source out of UDF set up.
But Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan General secretary of the state CPI (M) repeated
the charge saying the only reason behind left front's defeat is the secret
pact between UDF and the BJP Denying the charges of Mr. Vijayan, Muslim
League veteran Mr. E.Ahmed M.P said it was the UDF which has taken on the
strong B.J.P.candidates in Kasaragode district and subsequently they have
won the seats. Mr. Vijayan has no moral right to advice others while
Sharad Pawar's NCP a component of LDF is an ally of BJP in Meghalaya,
Ahmed said. Even as the election results are out the charges and counter
charges are being heard from both sides. q