Kozhikode: Veteran Congress leader and Union Minister, Mullappally Ramachandran retained the Vadakara constituency, by edging out CPI(M)`s A N Shamseer of LDF by a slender margin of 3306 votes in a fluctuating battle.
Ramachandran, who represented Kannur seat in Lok Sabha for five terms, contested the 2009 election from Vadakara and had defeated CPI(M)`s P Satheedevi by a margin of 56,186 votes, but faced stiff fight from the young CPI(M) candidate before emerging winner in the final rounds of counting.
This was the first major election to be held after Revolutionary Marxist Leader T P Chandrasekharan`s brutal murder on May 4, 2012 at nearby Onchiyam in Kozhikode district, in which three CPI-M functionaries were also found guilty by a court.
With Ramachandran in the fray from Vadakara for the second time and Chandrasekharan murder being the most debated issue, the contest in the constituency had hogged limelight. Ramachandran also tactfully kept the murder issue live to put the main opponent on the defensive.
At one stage of counting, Shamseer had even forged to a sizeable lead of over 7500 votes, but Ramachandran came back to snatch the lead after 30 to 35 per cent votes were counted. However, thereafter, the lead changed hands before Ramachandran emerged the winner.