New Delhi: The third phase of Lok Sabha elections is set for April 23. All of Kerala’s 20 seats are up for voting. Some of the industrial towns that go to vote in the third phase are Kasaragod, Kannur, Vadakar, Wayanad and Kozhikode.
Kasaragod: The economy in this constituency depends on agriculture, as cash crops like rubber and coconut are grown here for export. Ship-building industry, electrical and mechanical components building industries also flourish here. BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) is a major source of income in this district. The seat is held by CPM’s P Karunakaran who defeated his nearest rival, Congress candidate T Siddique, by a small margin. This time around, the CPM has fielded K P Satheesh Chandran. Against him are BJP’s Raveesh Thantri Kuntar and Congress’ Rajamohan Unnithan.
Kannur: This constituency was formed in 1977 and was earlier called Cannanore. It is famous for loom industries along with folk art forms, earning the town the title of the ‘City of Looms and Lore’. In 2014, CPM’s P K Sreemathi had defeated the Congress candidate. This year, Sreemathi is defending the seat from BJP’s C K Padmanabhan and Congress’ Sudhakaran.
Vadakara: Being a coastal region, the primary occupation here is fishing. Commercial and trading centres in the region dot this parliamentary constituency. A total of seven assembly segments comprise this parliamentary constituency. In 2014, Congress’ Mullappally Ramachandran defeated CPM’s A N Shamsheer by a very narrow margin. This year the Congress has fielded K Muraleedharan.
Wayanad: The district depends mainly on agriculture, which constitutes the bulk of the economy. Besides rice, the region grows oranges, pepper, cocoa, vanilla and tea. It has not witnessed any major urbanisation owing to a relatively heavy tribal presence. This has kept it as one of the poorest districts in the state. This year, Congress has fielded party president Rahul Gandhi from here. In 2014, Congress candidate M I Shanavas had won from here against Sathyan Mokeri of the CPI.
Kozhikode: The constituency of Kozhikode has remained a Congress stronghold, although the CPIM and the Janata Dal have also won elections from this constituency. In 2014, M K Raghavan of Congress had defeated CPIM’s A Vijayaraghavan. This time, sitting MP Raghavan is defending his seat against BJP’s K P Prakash Babu and CPIM’s A Pradeep Kumar.