Defeats Sreedharan by 3,840 votes, terms it a victory of secularism

The United Democratic Front (UDF)’s incumbent MLA Shafi Parambil dashed the hopes of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to wrest Palakkad through technocrat E. Sreedharan.

Mr. Sreedharan had gained a clear lead over Mr. Parambil and the Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s C.P. Pramod in the initial hours of counting, raising hope in the BJP camp. His lead even went up to 8,000 votes at one time. While Mr. Sreedharan got his lead mainly from the Palakkad municipality, where the BJP is in power, Mr. Parambil began to make gains when the counting moved to the neighbouring panchayats.

The Palakkad Assembly constituency is made up of Palakkad municipality and Kannadi, Pirayiri and Mathur grama panchayats. While the town supported Mr. Sreedharan, the grama panchayats stood by Mr. Parambil.

When counting reached the last rounds, Mr. Sreedharan’s lead began to plummet and Mr. Parambil soon gained an edge. Mr. Parambil, who was seeking a re-election from Palakkad for a third term, defeated Mr. Sreedharan by 3,840 votes.

Mr. Sreedharan had expressed confidence of a victory soon after the polling day and said that he had got help from some Congress quarters. He even went on to announce the opening up of an office in Palakkad to carry out development activities he promised to the people. Mr. Sreedharan had assured the people of Palakkad that he would convert the town into the best in the country in five years if he was given a chance.

Last two polls

Mr. Parambil was elected from Palakkad with a comfortable margin in the last two elections. In 2016, he had defeated BJP’s Sobha Surendran by 17,483 votes, and in 2011, he triumphed over CPI(M)’s K.K. Divakaran by 7,403 votes.

Talking to the media, Mr. Parambil said his victory was that of secularism. Thanking the people of Palakkad, he said that the voters reposed faith in him even at a time when the UDF faced bad prospects in the State. “It’s not my victory. They chose me,” said Mr. Parambil.

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