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Tough fight:K. Dasan (CPI(M), K.P. Anil Kumar (Congress) and
Kozhikode: The Koyilandy constituency is all set for a nail-biting finish in the coming Assembly election as the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) are putting forth an equal fight against each other.
In the 2006 Assembly elections, P. Viswan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] won the seat from the Congress after more than two decades. Koyilandy had been a Left stronghold since the first election to the Kerala Assembly till E. Narayanan Nair of the Congress won it in 1970.
In 2001, it favoured the Congress once again by electing P. Sankaran.
The Koyilandy constituency consists of the grama panchayats of Payyoli, Thikkodi, Moodadi, Chengottukavu and Chemanchery, besides the Koyilandy municipality. The Thurayur and Kizhayur grama panchayats, earlier part of the constituency, were attached to the Perambra constituency in the delimitation.
In the local body elections held last September, the UDF won the Chengottukavu, Payyoli and Thikkodi grama panchayats, while Moodadi and Chemanchery favoured the Left. The municipality too went the Left way.
The three major candidates in the Koyilandy constituency — K. Dasan of the CPI(M), K.P. Anil Kumar of the Congress and T.P. Jayachandran of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — have never been in the Assembly.
The CPI(M) is banking on the goodwill its candidate is said to have earned during his 10-year tenure as chairman of the Koyilandy municipal council. The ‘native' status may be an advantage for Mr. Dasan, who claims to have a clear idea of the problems and needs of the constituency.
Mr. Dasan may have a tough opponent in Mr. Anil Kumar, former Youth Congress State president and lawyer. T.T. Ismail, Indian Union Muslim League leader, believes that Mr. Anil Kumar will gain acceptance among the youth in his constituency.
Neutral voters, who are tired of the stagnancy in development, will choose Mr. Anil Kumar, Mr. Ismail said. “The UDF has a good track record here; all major development activities in the constituency were undertaken while the UDF was in power. Also, the front has a clear upper hand in the constituency, except in the Koyilandy municipality,” he said.
“The Congress and the CPI(M) have paid no attention to the basic problems and development needs of the constituency, such as electricity and drinking water and development of cottage industries, harbour, roads and tourism,” Mr. Jayachandran, a teacher by profession, said. There is dissent and disgruntlement in the electorate owing to a lack of development. This may turn in favour of the BJP,” he said.
Though the BJP has never been a decisive factor in Koyilandy, the party is upbeat as it had won five seats in the local body polls — three in the municipality and two in Chengottukavu panchayat.
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