BJP eyes vote bank in Kasargod

Kasargod has been a secure vote bank for the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) for the last four decades and BJP and LDF haven’t been able to beat the Muslim League in previous elections.

Even though it is a triangular competition in Kasargod, a tough fight will be witnessed between the Muslim League and the BJP.

MLA N A Nellikunnu has filed his nomination from the Muslim League. Door-to-door campaign is being carried out by the party workers. Nellikunnu has a clean image, but his constituency has some unfulfilled works such as the drinking water project in the City Municipal Council (CMC) limits and the four gram panchayats of the neighbourhood, which has been a reason for the disappointment of people.

Kuntaru Ravish Tantri from the BJP, a new face in the electoral battle, has no serious allegations on him. With the new party BDJS becoming a part of the NDA, Tantri is expected to draw more votes.

Left parties in Kasargod have not opposed the Kerala government’s new regulation, which makes it compulsory for Kannadigas to learn Malayalam language and to opt for it while attempting UPSC examinations. The parties have not mentioned this in the manifestos. Hence, there is a possibility of erosion in Kannadiga votes of the LDF and the Muslim League.

Dr A A Amin is the candidate from Indian National League, the ally of the Left parties. The seat is said to have been rejected by several INL leaders and Amin’s candidature was finally locked. Left parties have been organising public programmes to woo people.

Muslim league holds record

The Muslim League has been winning the Assembly elections in Kasargod the last 40 years.

T A Ibrahim from the Muslim League emerged as a winner with a thumping majority in 1977. From 1982 to 2006, C T Ahmed Ali was MLA. Ibrahim’s tenure as MLA for 25 years, winning from 1982 to 2001 has been a record in Kasargod.

In 2011, with several changes in the election scenario, a major portion of ANL merged with the Muslim league. Nellikunnu, the UDF candidate, defeated Jayalakshmi N Bhat of BJP by 9,738 votes. Aziz Kadappuram of INL came third.

The new voters’ list says Kasargod Assembly has 1,88,770 voters – 94,140 men and 94,630 women. The Assembly has a total of 1,88,906 votes – 78 NRI votes and 58 ex-servicemen.

UDF holds power in Kasargod Assembly, which incudes Kasargod CMC, Badiadka, Bellur, Chengala, Karadka, Kumbdaje, Madhur, Mogral-Puttur Panchayats. BJP holds power in Madhur and Karadka panchayats.

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