The CPI(M) has blamed trade-off of votes between the BJP and the UDF for the defeat of the LDF candidate in the Vadakara Assembly constituency. From the voting pattern, it goes without saying that the LDF may also have lost some of its traditional votes here.
Vadakara was among the only two seats that the front lost in the district when a Left wave swept across the State, ensuring a second term for the Pinarayi Vijayan government. The loss was even more troublesome for the CPI(M), as the winner was the wife of a dissident party leader, who was allegedly murdered on a May 4 nine years ago after he broke away to form a new party.
C.K. Nanu of the Janata Dal (Secular), an LDF ally, had been winning from the constituency since 2011. However, the seat was handed over to the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD), another offshoot of the Janata Parivar, which returned to the front after a more-than-a-decade stint with the UDF, this time. But LJD leader Manayath Chandran lost to K.K. Rema of the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI), founded by the late CPI(M) dissident T.P. Chandrasekharan, by a margin of 7,491 votes. The UDF had announced unconditional support for Ms. Rema’s candidature.
Of the total 1,36,673 votes polled, Ms. Rema bagged 65,903 votes, while Mr. Chandran got 57,602 votes. M. Rajesh Kumar of the NDA managed to get 10,225 votes.
Now, the CPI(M) claims that the BJP transferred its votes to Ms. Rema to ensure Mr. Chandran’s defeat. For the record, the saffron party secured 18,555 votes in the Vadakara district panchayat division in the 2020 local body polls. In the 2016 Assembly polls, Mr. Rajesh Kumar had got 13,937 votes also. This time, however, his tally was down to 10,225 votes. The CPI(M) believes that the remaining BJP votes went in bulk to the UDF-RMPI candidate.
But it is learnt that Ms. Rema may have gained some pro-Left votes, especially that of women voters, as well. There was a sympathy factor at work in her favour after the alleged involvement of CPI(M) activists and leaders in Chandrasekharan’s murder. Ms. Rema had made political violence a major campaign theme.
In 2016, Mr. Nanu had got 49,211 votes. Mr. Chandran, who contested as a UDF candidate then, got 39,700 votes, and Ms. Rema had bagged 20,504 votes as an Independent.
With the LJD moving to the LDF, and addition of over 10,000 new voters, Mr. Chandran had a numerical advantage. But going by the votes polled in his favour, the LDF candidate has failed to get at least a couple of thousand pro-Left votes. This, along with the alleged cross-voting by BJP sympathisers, is believed to have led to Ms. Rema’s victory.