As the capital is gearing up for an intense tri-cornered contest among the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Left Democratic Front (LDF), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Nadar and Nair communities will be determining the electoral prospects of the main contenders.

But for LDF candidate Bennet P. Abraham, it is a virtual repeat of the 2009 contest for the UDF which has fielded Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor yet again. The BJP has fielded O. Rajagopal.

The Lok Sabha segment covering seven Assembly constituencies between Kazhakuttam and Neyyattinkara, has a total electorate of 12,42,901. The 6,45,095 women voters have an edge over the 5,97,806 male voters in the constituency. The number of voters in the 18 to 21 age group has not yet been ascertained. The Parassala segment with the highest number of voters, 1,94,919, has the distinction of having the highest number of female voters,101810. Neyyattinkara has the lowest number of women voters, 86,072.

Mr. Tharoor won the previous elections securing 44.29 per cent of the polled votes. His rival Ramachandran Nair (CPI) could secure only 30.74 per cent votes. BJP candidate P.K. Krishnadas had to be contented with a fourth position with 11.40 per cent votes, whereas, BSP candidate A. Neelalohitadasan Nadar who went alone, polled 11.69 per cent votes.

Mr. Tharoor was able to maintain a comfortable lead in all the seven Assembly segments, of which the highest was in Vattiyoorkavu, 51692 votes. He secured an impressive vote share of 7.01 per cent against the 3.94 per cent of Mr. Ramachandran Nair and 1.75 per cent of Mr. Krishnadas.

UDF sway

The UDF had been maintaining its sway over the constituency over the years. It had been returning UDF candidates in a row. The late M.N. Govindan Nair was elected in 1977 when he contested with Congress support, but was defeated by Mr. Neelalohitadasan Nadar on contesting as LDF candidate in 1980. Communal equations had come to the help of Congress candidates in 1980, 1984, 1989 and 1991, especially when A. Charles was returned in a row thrice. The LDF had to wait till 1996 when the late K.V. Surendranath was elected against Mr. Charles with a slender margin of nearly three per cent votes in 1996, but had to give up in the prestigious fight with the late Congress leader K. Karunakaran in 1998. But his margin was only 2.02 per cent.

Again Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar emerged victorious in his maiden fight against the late Kaniyapuram Ramachandran with a 2.08 per cent votes, but the communist veteran P.K.Vasudevan Nair defeated him in 2004 with a margin of 7.15 votes. Nadar and Nair communities are the determining factors in the constituency. This prompts the rival fronts to select candidates from either of the communities.

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