Vadakara defeat brings CPM-LJD rift to the fore

Vadakara defeat brings CPM-LJD rift to the fore

Kozhikode: Nearly a month after the Lok Sabha election results were announced, political parties are assessing minutely their electoral performance constituency by constituency. The defeat of CPM strongman P Jayarajan from the Vadakara seat in north Kerala has reportedly strained ties of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) with the Left Democratic Front (LDF). But the socialist party has come to the conclusion that it was the CPM's candidate choice that primarily led to the defeat even as the Left party faced a severe drubbing across the state, except one constituency.

It was said the LJD, headed by M P Veerendra Kumar in Kerala, has a comparatively huge vote bank in Vadakara and considering it the Left had hoped to wrest the seat from the rival United Democratic Front (UDF). However in a conducive political wave that splashed across the state, the UDF won all but one of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The sole exception being Alappuzha, not Vadakara from where Jayarajan locked horns with popular Congress leader and Vattiyoorkavu MLA K Muraleedharan.

Muraleedharan defeated Jayarajan, the former Kannur district secretary of CPM, by a huge margin of 84,633 votes. While Muraleedharan polled 5,26,755 votes and Jayarajan 4,42,092, BJP’s V K Sajeevan finished third, far behind.

The results in Vadakara was embarrassing for the CPM as it had hoped a better show as Congress rival Mullappally Ramachandran scraped through from here in the 2014 general elections with a 3,306-vote margin over CPM's AN Shamseer.

Though the slain rebel leader TP Chandrasekharan's Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI) decided not to field its own candidate and openly supported the UDF in the latest polls in Vadakara, the LDF was counting on the voter base of the LJD to take on the UDF, which hugely banked upon the dedicated votes of its ally Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) also.

Vadakara defeat brings CPM-LJD rift to the fore
M P Veerendra Kumar

However, in the district council meeting of the LJD, held at Iringal, near Vadakara on Sunday, the party observed that the candidature of Jayarajan was a major factor behind LDF defeat in this constituency. One of the senior leaders of the party told Onmanorama on the condition of anonymity that 'the Jayarajan factor' antagonised both the RMPI and the BJP alike.

“Our state committee as well as the district council reviewed that there was a chance for the LDF to win with the support of the LJD, but not with Jayarajan. When his name was introduced, it was easy for the UDF to rake up violence politics here. It also energised the RMPI, who believes that the candidate has a direct role in conspiring the killing of their favourite leader (Chandrasekharan). Another major reason was Sabarimala and the role of the BJP. We had calculated at least 1,40,000 votes for the NDA candidate, but they got only a little more than 80,000 votes. That means, there was a strict order from the BJP cadres to ensure the defeat of Jayarajan. Apart from the other parties, a reasonable share of votes from the CPM and even LJD must have gone to the UDF candidate, as a displeasure over selecting Jayarajan here,” the leader said.

The LJD leader added that the IUML also worked very hard for K Muraleedharan, since they have a hatred for Jayarajan over the murder of their workers. It was the IUML leaders and workers, who demanded for a stronger candidate like Muraleedharan against Jayarajan, and they also worked very hard for his victory. “There was also a feeling that only the Congress could fight BJP nationally, and it caused a consolidation of minority votes also, especially with the arrival of Congress President Rahul Gandhi (to contest from Wayanad),” the leader added.

Though a portion of the LJD votes might have gone to the UDF candidate, the leader said, all the senior leaders worked relentlessly in the campaign and the defeat need not reflect in the next local body or Assembly elections.

The LJD, Kerala Congress (B), Janathipathya Kerala Congress and INL had joined the Left front ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

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