Kozhikode: The political hotspot of Kannur in North Kerala witnessed a neck and neck race before CPI(M) candidate P K Sreemathi wrested the seat from sitting MP K Sudhakaran of Congress by about 6,000 votes.
Sreemathi was ahead by 1,019 votes when only 7 per cent votes remained for counting, but Sudhakaran came back and forged ahead with a slender 885-vote lead.
Sreemathi, however, forged ahead once again and then held on to the lead to emerge victorious.
Although Kannur is the cradle of communism in Kerala, it has sent Congress nominees to Parliament for around two decades between 1980 and 1998. CPI (M) regained its hold in 1998 through A P Abdulla Kutty`s success in 1999 and 2004.
However, Congress through Sudhakaran wrested the seat in 2009 by defeating K K Ragesh of CPI (M) by a margin of 43,151 votes.
An elated Sreemathi, party`s Central Committee Member, said: "We had worked hard day and night. It is the result of hard work," she said.