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Muslim, Christian votes led to Left fall

The Muslim, Christian votes proved crucial for Congress-led United Democratic Front bagging a wafer-thin majority in the assembly elections in Kerala. Jayanth Jacob reports.

india Updated: May 18, 2011 10:14 IST
Jayanth Jacob

Muslim and Christian votes proved crucial for the Congress-led UDF bagging a wafer-thin majority in the Kerala polls.

But, there is no across-the-state trend in support of the minority communities to either of the blocs. And more than the Congress, its allies Muslim League and Kerala Congress (Mani), with a pre-dominant Christian base getting the minority votes, tilted the scales in favour of the UDF.

Muslims constitute 24.7%, while Christians account for 19% of the state’s population.

In UDF’s tally of 72, the Kerala Congress and Muslim League have added 29 seats — 40%. League won 20 out of the 24 seats. In 2006 polls, the party won only eight seats out of the 22 it had contested.

In Malappuram, which has the highest concentration of Muslims, the League won 12 out of the UDF’s 14 seats. The LDF could win just two seats.

Kerala Congress (Mani) won nine out of 15 seats. In Ernakulam, where the Christian population is highest, out of 13 seats, the UDF won 11, leaving the rest three to the LDF. Mani’s good show also explains why in Kottayam, the UDF won seven seats, giving just two to the LDF.

In the Puthupally constituency of Kottayam, UDF chief ministerial candidate, Oommen Chandy almost doubled his majority this time to 33, 225.

The UDF lost two seats, Thiruvalla and Ranni, in the Christian belt of central Travancore region. Again in the Christian-dominated Pathanamthitta, the LDF won three seats and the UDF two. In Kozhikode, a Muslim-dominated district, the LDF won 10 seats and UDF just three.

“League’s victory is the answer to Achuthanadan, who was on a mission to harass us,” said Muslim League leader PK Kunjhalikutty.