Left to Right: C Raghunath, CK Padmanabhan, Pinarayi Vijayan
Left to Right: C Raghunath, CK Padmanabhan, Pinarayi Vijayan

Kannur: Some high-profile segments are like that only.

Nobody is bothered about the poll results there but only about the victory margin gained by the VIP candidate against his/her rivals. Dharmadam, the home turf of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the politically volatile northern Kannur district, is also one such constituency in poll-bound Kerala, where the election result seems to be too predictable.

But, that does not dent the spirit and vigour of the high voltage campaign in the constituency, where the opposition Congress-led UDF and the BJP-NDA are all attempting to upset the ruling LDF's applecart this time.

The saffron party is fielding its senior leader CK Padmanabhan to take on the Chief Minister but the Congress has been facing flak for fielding a comparatively weaker candidate against a titan like Vijayan.

The party leadership's attempt to field K Sudhakaran, a heavyweight leader and an arch critic of Vijayan, from the segment did not materialise as he was not ready to take up the challenge at the last minute, which resulted in C Raghunath, the general secretary of the Kannur DCC, getting the seat.

A bastion of the Marxist Communist party, Dharmadam Assembly constituency is spread across seven village panchayats- Anjarakkandy, Chembilode, Kadambur, Muzhappilangad, Peralasseri, Dharmadam, Pinarayi and Vengand. Once known for the century-old Brennan College, picturesque island and the country's premier circus academy, Dharmadam these days finds place in the news more as the Chief Minister's constituency.

Life-size cut-outs and huge posters of Pinarayi Vijayan, a tough administrator and a hardline Marxist, would welcome you in every nook and cranny of the segment.

Besides the mainstream candidates, the mother of the Walayar sisters, the minor girls who were found hanging in their hut under mysterious circumstances in 2017, is also contesting from Dharamadam to give a symbolic fight to Pinarayi Vijayan.

According to figures, Vijayan had garnered 87,329 votes, 56.62 per cent of the total votes polled, against his nearest rival Mambaram Divakaran of Congress who could win only 50,424 votes during the 2016 Assembly polls.

BJP's Mohanan Mananthery could only manage over 12,000 votes only in the segment in the previous elections.

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