- Muslim League workers started celebrating within half an hour into the counting.
- Within an hour and half into the counting, Kunjalikkutty raised the lead to over 60,000 thousand votes.
- The UDF is maintaining lead in all the seven assembly constituencies in the Malappuram LS constituency.
Vengara Assembly constituency in Malappuram district will go for a by election as Muslim League National General Secretary , who is representing it in the state assembly is all set to walk into the Lok Sabha with an emphatic win over the ruling Left Democratic Front candidate in Malappuram by-polls in Kerala.
Kunjalikkutty maintained his lead from the very beginning of the counting in the Muslim dominated Malappuram Loksabha constituency. The by-poll was necessitated after the death of E Ahamed, former Union Minister. Ahamed had won Malappuram in 2014 with a huge margin of over 1.94 lakh votes. Muslim League leaders now hope a record margin for Kunjalikkuty.
Muslim League workers had started celebrating within half an hour into the counting. And within an hour and half into to counting, Kunjalikkutty raised his lead over 60,000 thousand votes. The UDF is maintaining lead in all the seven assembly constituencies in the Malappuram LS constituency. The LDF could not make any impact in its strong pockets in the Muslim League bastion. At one point, the LDF had hopes that it could pull off a victory as it did in 2004, when TK Hamsa of LDF upset the Muslim league in Manjery constituency of which Malappuram was a part before the redrawing of the constituency limits.
Also read: Malappuram by-polls: What if the LDF wins and BJP puts up a great show?
Kunjalikkutty entered politics through Muslim Students Federation (M.S.F.) and was elected to Malappuram Municipality in 1980. His rise in stature in Kerala politics began with his first assembly win in 1982. He became the state Minister for Industries and Social Welfare in 1991. He was a key player in UDF ministries since then. He was the Industries minister in AK Antony governments in 1995 and 2001. He was a cabinet member in Oommen Chandy ministries in 2004 and in 2011. He was elected to Kerala Assembly in 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996 and 2001, 2011 and in 2016. He tasted deafeat in Kuttippuram constituency in Malappuram in 2006 at the hands of LDF-supported independent KT Jaleel.
Related: BJP candidate offers halal meat, good slaughterhouses before Malappuram bypoll
Giving a twist to the Lok Sabha by-poll in which national issues usually gain prominence, the CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan stated that the election would be an assessment of the Pinarayi Vijayan government. The statement sprung a surprise to political observers as the voting pattern in the previous elections predicted a sure win for the UDF.
Now, the perplexing question is why Kodiyeri Balakrishnan took the risk of calling the by-election an evaluation of the left govt. in Kerala.
“It was an election fought strictly on political issues. The campaign debated the policies of the BJP government at the Centre and the anti-people rule of the Left government in Kerala,” Muslim League state general secretary KPA Majeed said.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:42 PM IST