Vallikkunnu, an IUML bastion by default


Though it has been barely a decade since the Vallikkunnu Assembly constituency came into existence, it has clearly expressed its political affiliations. The constituency had favoured Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in the last two Assembly polls.

Part of the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency, Vallikkunnu was formed as part of the delimitation in 2010 and consists of Chelembra, Pallikkal, Peruvallur, Thenhipalam, Vallikkunnu and Munniyur grama panchayats of Malappuram district, most of which was part of the Thirurangadi Assembly constituency and the rest part of the Kondotty Assembly constituency before the delimitation.

Kondotty has always been a League bastion, so has been Thirurangadi. That makes Vallikkunnu another IUML bastion by default. In the recent local body polls, the United Democratic Front (UDF) had come to power in all but one grama panchayat in Vallikkunnu constituency. The CPI(M) wrested the Vallikkunnu panchayat from the IUML this time.

Institutions

The presence of high-profile institutions such as the Calicut International Airport, Calicut University, the LPG plant of Indian Oil Corporation at Chelari and the KINFRA industrial park makes the constituency special. The coastline, though small, is demanding development as well.

With a voting population of around 1.93 lakh, Vallikkunnu had polled well in both the Assembly elections it faced, with a voting percentage of 72.5 and 74.9 in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

In 2011, K.N.A. Khader of the IUML defeated K.V. Sankaranarayanan, an LDF-backed Independent, for around 20,000 votes while in 2016 P. Abdul Hameed defeated O.K. Thangal of the Indian National League for around 12,000 votes.

BJP’s presence

In both the polls, BJP candidates Preman and K. Janachandran came in the third position and the party saw a considerable increase in its vote share from 9.8% to 16.65%. Vallikkunnu is the only constituency in Malappuram district where the BJP could make some inroads.

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