Kasaragod, Oct 24: Manjeswaram, Assembly Constituency, bordering Mangalore in Karnataka and having an assorted linguistic and customary culture, has once again slipped from the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as it hoped to upset the applecart of UDF in the October 21 byelection.
Obviously the party leaders should be regretting the decision of its stalwart K Surendran for withdrawing a winnable case. Mr Surendran who had lost the seat for just 89 votes in the 2016 Assembly poll but came close to a reversal of the poll verdict, thanks to the allegations of bogus voting which was near-proven in the court.
However, the demise of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) sitting MLA PB Abdul Razak made Surendran withdraw the case and face the byelection. Had the case been proceeded and other things being favourable in the court, the BJP would have been having its second representative in the state Assembly.
But the absence of Surendran, replaced by Raveesa Tantri Kundar, a Kannadika and a local leader, but could not gain votes that tilted the advantage to the Muslim League in the constituency.
Religious card, vis-a-vis the Sabarimala women entry issue, did not help either the BJP or the CPI(M), whose candidate declaring himself as an ardent believer and taking a stance to allow those pilgrims who follow traditions and customs of Sabarimala. Nevertheless, the LDF went deep down with a huge difference in the vote share of the BJP with the letter came second in the contest.
Both the UDF and BJP had increased their vote count but the LDF lost few thousands when compared to their votes in 2016. While UDF has made considerable increase in votes secured by its nominee, the BJP too had bettered its vote share.
The votes secured by the main contestants in October 21 byelection are: M C Quamarudheen - 65407, Raveesa Tantri Kundar - 57484 and Sankar Rai - 38233. The votes secured by the three fronts in 2016 were: UDF - 56870, BJP - 56781, LDF: 42565.
Now the national party ruling the country will have to wait until the next election to the Kerala Assembly, tentatively in May 2021, to try and work to overpower the supremacy of the UDF in Manjeswaram. (UNI)