Stunning win for Sudhakaran

Scores high in Dharmadam, Mattannur, Taliparamba segments

In a spectacular electoral victory that gave him a thumping margin of over 94,559 votes, Congress leader K. Sudhakaran wrested the Kannur Lok Sabha seat from Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s P.K. Sreemathy, who had defeated him in 2014 by a slender lead of 6,566 votes.

Mr. Sudhakaran polled 5,29,741 votes while his rival candidate polled 4,35,182 when the votes were counted by around 6.45 p.m. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s C.K. Padmanabhan occupied a distant third position with 68,509 votes.

Viewed as the strongman of the Congress in the district and an arch enemy of the CPI(M) here, Mr. Sudhakaran, who used much of his political energy during the electioneering to ensure that the issue of political violence was the central campaign theme in his constituency, romped home with the huge margin that dwarfed his own victory from the constituency in 2009 with a margin of 43,000-odd votes. He survived all kinds electoral weapons deployed against him during the campaign, including the propaganda that he would be joining the BJP if elected.

Politically significant

Mr. Sudhakaran’s victory turns out to be politically significant as he manages to secure quite a high number of votes in the Assembly segments such as Dharmadam, Mattannur, and Taliparamba that have been treated as invincible pocket boroughs of the CPI(M).He was especially delighted that he could make inroads into Dharmadam and Mattannur, the Assembly constituencies of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan respectively.

The votes the UDF candidate polled outnumbered those polled by his LDF rival in the Taliparamba Assembly segment, which is traditionally a stronghold of the CPI(M). In the Dharmadam segment, Mr. Sudhakaran scored just 4,099 votes less than Ms. Sreemathy. He also pocketed a high number of votes in the Mattannur Assembly constituency represented.

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