Kasargod: Kasargod is witnessing a tense battle for supremacy between the UDF and the LDF. Rajmohan Unnith an of the UDF, with his gift of the gab, has focussed on the political violence unleashed by the CPM while the LDF is banking on the development activities initiated by it.
The twin murders of Youth Congress workers Kripesh and Sharath Lal at Periya in February are brought up by Mr Unnithan in his speeches to highlight the ‘bloodthirsty’ character of the CPM. “Kasargod is not an irresistible red fortress. The results last time point to this. There will be a swing of votes against the murder culture this time,” says Unnithan.
The LDF has high hopes on its popular candidate K.P. Satheesh Chandran who is acceptable to all and knows every place in Kasargod as a former MLA and the CPM district secretary.
The LDF also banks on the development projects, including NH-widening, new roads and the hill highway. “The CPM has disowned the culprits in the Periya incident. We don’t endorse any kind of violence and the people know it,” says Satheesh Chandran.
Kasargod has elected Left candidates 12 times since 1967. The UDF won only thrice--in 1971, 1977 and 1984. But the declining majority is a cause of concern for the LDF. CPM leader P. Karunakaran’s majority of 1.07 lakh votes in 2004 fell to 64,427 in 2009 and 6,921 in 2014 against UDF’s T. Sidique. Among the Assembly seats, Payyannur, Kalliyasserry, Uduma, Kanhangad and Thrikkaripur are LDF strongholds while the UDF holds sway over Kasargod and Manjeshwaram. In the Assembly election in 2016, the LDF had an upper hand of 72,000 votes.
NDA candidate Ravish Tantri Kuntar pins hopes on the Karnataka border areas. BJP leader K. Surendran had bagged 1,72,000 votes last time.