Did Pinarayi's decision to go after UDF leaders in solar scam help?

IUML retains Vengara seat but LDF votes increase
news Vengara byeelection Sunday, October 15, 2017 - 10:38

It was an election that was seen as a prestige battle for the UDF and LDF in Kerala. The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) candidate KNA Khader who contested as candidate of the United Democratic Front won the elections gaining 23,310 votes more than the LDF candidate who came second.

While Khader polled 65227 votes, LDF candidate PP Basheer secured 41917 votes.

IUML lead slipped by 14747 votes as compared to 2016 Assembly elections  while the CPI (M) increased vote share from 34124 to 41917. 

SDPI's KC Naseer came third with 8648 votes, while the BJP' candidate K Janachandran fared dismally with jist 5728 votes.

Though the UDF was confident of a victory in Vengara byepolls in Kerala, the LDF decided to put up a firm fight.

The LDF's resistance seems to have paid off as the front has been able to increase its vote share and curtail the IUML. In 2016 assembly polls, IUML had secured a majority of 38,057 votes.

The Vengara seat fell vacant after the sitting MLA Kunhakikutty won the Malappuram by-poll in April. The contest was necessitated by the death of Malappuram MP, E Ahmed, who was a veteran leader of the IUML.

Kunhalikutty had won from Vengara in the 2016 Assembly elections with a majority of 38,057 votes.  PP Basheer was Kunhalikutty’s opponent in the Assembly election also and IUML was not expecting anything less than a majority of 30,000 votes in the bypolls also.

In 2011 elections, Kunhalikutty won from Vengara with a clear margin which also helped IUML regain its strength in the state politics.

Kunhalikutty won the election with a majority of 38, 237 votes.

In 2016 when UDF lost the election, and many of its popular names tasted failure, Vengara strongly stood with the front. UDF rules five out of the six panahchayats here. In the 2014 Loksabha elections E Ahmed had got a majority of 42,632 votes, which was highest in the district, from Vengara.

LDF however had tried to reduce IUML's majority. Pinarayi Vijayan's annoucement that his government would take action against top UDF leaders in Solar scam seems to have helped.

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