Picture courtesy:Facebook P.K.Kunhalikkutty
Malappuram bye-election gave new energy to Muslim League and UDF workers. P.K.Kunhalikkutty has been elected in the by-election. He defeated M.B.Fizal of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).
Kunhalikkutty’s winning margin is 171023.He won 515330 votes while his main opponent Faisal secured 344307 votes.
BJP candidate NP Sreeprakash could win only 65657 votes.
Even if, the UDF could not break the record of the past victory margin of the late, E.Ahamed in the 2014 election, Kunhalikkutty managed it well to save the UDF. Congress-UDF leaders claim the victory as a shock treatment to the CPIM-led LDF government in Kerala.
CPI(M) and the LDF faced severe setbacks during the campaign.
Jishnu case caused a severe blow to the party campaign.
CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had taken a bold step by declaring the election as the evaluation of the Left Democratic government functions.
But, the result was disappointing to the front.
The party camps tried to spread a campaign against both the UDF and BJP that there was a nexus with these three folds; Congress-League-BJP(KO-LI-BI).The party lost such credentials in the high-voltage campaign of P.K.Kunhalikkutty, always a mass leader accessible to every common party worker.
The question that weather this result would any way reflect in the LS election of 2019 is a hot question among political circles.
It is too earlier to predict such a situation now, as observed by many political observers.
Still, there is a ray of hope on the part of the UDF camp. Selection of candidates, well-designed campaigns, secular focus are helpful to the organization to repeat winning in the coming election. But, it would not be an easy walk-over since the Congress party machinery is too weak to conduct grass root level programs and make party workers, live and productive.
Whatever be the situation CPM-led left organization has great grass- root level mechanism everywhere in the state.
Pinarayi-led ministry had to face various attacks from both the LDF partner CPI and the opposition parties on various issues during the campaign. Still, the party machinery worked day and night systematically to prove their strong defence in the League-dominated green fort.
The front secured around one lakh votes more than 2014 LS election.
The increase in the vote share is an eye-opener to the UDF because,if a green fort, with a dedicated team of League volunteers, pose a big challenge to the UDF,what would be the situation in the 2019 election?
Unlike Malappuram constituency , the left has good ground work and grass- root level network . Congress led UDF is lacking such functioning.
The only few matters the LDF camp lacking are the government’s failures in managing police, lack of trust between the front partners, tackling commodity price hikes etc.
CPI is continuously attacking the government activities. This makes a bad image to the Pinrayi-led government.
Image building exercises,keeping the accountability in police action, good measures to tackle price hike of essential commodities and the implementation of many poll promises will give a boost to the left camp to go ahead with 2019 LS target.
Meanwhile, BJP is planning some serious activities to take hold in the state at leats in the coming LS polls. But,it won’t be a smooth run for the party since the Kerala leaders are not competent to overcome tough situations, as understood by the central leadership. And,Kerla context is entirely different from that of other states. Kerala’s high secular outlooks and tradition can’t be easily broken.
BJP can’t intervene in many social issues due to its hard-core activities.
The party,instead took a different strategy in Malappuram to woo majority Muslim voters.This tactic,somehow backfired the organization for slipping away from its declared Hindutva agenda . According to some election pundits,it was a dilution in its core policies,that too for a ‘dream’ electoral victory.
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BJP may have showed their significant role as a third alternative in the state in the past few elections. In Malappauram, the party’s growth is not much impressive. But, Malappuram is not the complete picture of Kerala politics. Being a Muslim dominated constituency, it has long tradition to move with League candidates.The Malappauram result also draws a picture that Kerala is still a land of UDF and LDF.
If things are going like this, Kerala parties have to work hard to win majority seats in the coming LS polls. Traditional vote banks may not help parties to reach a conclusion.