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Status quo in troubled north?

Fifteen constituencies in the sensitive districts of Kannur and Kasarakode will slug it out, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 11:51 IST

Kerala is signing off. Fifteen constituencies in the sensitive northern districts of Kannur and Kasarakode will slug it out on Wednesday.

At stake are the fortunes of 85 candidates to be tested by 24.8 lakh voters.

The EC has de-linked the two northernmost districts to prevent malpractices and has deployed heavy security to ensure free polling. Nearly 392 booths have been declared super-sensitive and digital cameras installed.

The two districts appear like fortresses with heavy deployment of forces from various states.

The Left, the poll market leader, is crying foul saying the heavy deployment will scare away the voters. But UDF candidate from Koothuparambha Saji Joseph bore the brunt of red fury last week.

LDF holds 10 seats and the UDF five. And observers predict a status quo. The region has a violent history of political killings.

In the hotspots of red-saffron clashes, Thalasserry, Panoor and Koothuparambha, nearly 200 lost their lives in clashes. Five are facing death sentence for a schoolteacher's murder.

But stringent policing and vigil by the current crop of leaders are helping Kannur forget its bloody past.

First Published: May 03, 2006 11:51 IST