Guruvayoor yet to witness hectic poll campaign

Guruvayoor yet to witness hectic poll campaign

The scorching summer, the all-pervading World Cup cricket fever and the delay on the part of major combines to select candidates have dampened the spirit of the hustings.
Winds of change blew in 2006 over the Guruvayoor constituency, known till then as the citadel of the United Democratic Front (UDF), with the victory of Left Democratic Front's (LDF) K V Abdul Khadar with a margin of 12,309 votes.

With a sizeable chunk of Muslim voters, the constituency was once considered a safe seat for the Indian Union Muslim League, a UDF constituent. This time the IUML has brought in its Malappuram district president Ashraf Kokkur in a bid to wrest the seat from CPM’s sitting MLA Khadar.

“We began our campaign a bit late but we are slowly gaining ground. We will extend our good show in the recent local body and Lok Sabha elections. Also, people want a change in the state politics,” said Kokkur.

Guruvayoor comes under Thrissur district where delimitation has brought the number of Assembly constituencies down from 14 to 13. In 2006, the LDF achieved its biggest majority ever, snatching 11 of the 14 seats. However, the UDF reversed the trend by making a clean sweep in the 2010 local body elections, walking away with 44 out of the 55 seats in the Thrissur Corporation. The UDF retained its sway over the district panchayat, nine block panchayats and 49 grama panchayats.

“The UDF pins its hopes on its good show in the recent elections. But the recent flood of scams at the Centre and imprisonment of Balakrishna Pillai in the Idamalayar case along with positive effects of Achuthananthan at the helm of LDF affairs are likely to spoil the UDF game plans,” says Sithara James, a lecturer in a local college.

“Since the constituency has a large chunk of Muslims, both fronts have been using emotional issues. Even the US aggression in Iraq and Afghanisthan along with Saddham Hussein and Bin Laden were poll issues here,” said Dinesh who is into hospitality industry.