Kalamassery shifts track, chooses LDF

Constituency, in limelight for the flyover row, ends its 10-year alliance with IUML

The CPI(M)’s P. Rajeeve, a former Rajya Sabha member, wrested the Kalamassery Assembly constituency from the United Democratic Front (UDF) by a convincing margin of 15,336 votes.

He bagged 77,141 votes to defeat V.E. Abdul Gafoor, son of incumbent MLA V.K. Ebrahim Kunju of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which is part of the UDF. Mr. Gafoor bagged 61,805 votes and P.S. Jayaraj of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, part of the NDA, bagged 11,179 votes in the seven-cornered contest.

The contest in Kalamassery constituency was keenly watched because Mr. Kunju had withdrawn from the election scene after being named in a major scandal involving the building of the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi. His son’s candidature was opposed by a section of the UDF supporters and IUML workers.

That the constituency had returned Mr. Ebrahim Kunju to the Assembly on both occasions after its formation in 2011 adds glitter to Mr. Rajeeve’s victory. Mr. Ebrahim Kunju had won the seat in the last election with a margin of over 12,000 votes.

Mr. Rajeeve said the people of Kerala had wanted a continuation of the LDF rule and he was grateful to the people for the faith they reposed in the government. He also said that the people had rejected the politics of corruption and that his was a victory of democracy. “People have defeated the culture of corruption through democratic means,” he told The Hindu.

The voting percentage in 2016 was 81.29 while it came down to 75.81 in 2021, which had worried the incumbent political front. In 2016, a total of 1,54,882 votes were polled and Mr. Kunju bagged 44.37% of the votes. A.M. Yusuf of the CPI(M) bagged 37.55% and the BDJS’s V. Gopakumar, 15.65%.

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