C. Gouridasan Nair

First general election in State after delimitation

Some uncertainty in the poll exercise

Alliances, parties making subtle shifts

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha on April 16 will be a landmark event in Kerala’s political history as the poll battle will be fought on a vastly changed political landscape.

Like elsewhere in the country, this is the first general election to be held in Kerala after the delimitation of constituencies and that has brought in a new imponderable into the electoral contest. Not that the battle scene is unfamiliar to the major players or that the polls will be dominated by political issues, but the reconfiguring of the constituencies that has taken place as part of delimitation has brought in a certain element of uncertainty into the entire poll exercise.

Seats now history

Nobody is more conscious of this than the political parties and this is best evidenced by the subtle shifts that alliances and parties are trying to make, both in terms of identity of individual parties that will contest the different seats and the candidates likely to be fielded in them.

Although the total number of Lok Sabha seats in Kerala remains 20, the delimitation exercise has resulted in Manjeri, Ottappalam, Mukundapuram, Muvattupuzha, Adoor and Chirayinkeezhu, familiar names to a whole generation of voters and poll watchers, becoming part of history.

While Muvattupuzha has been carved into several bits and merged with neighbouring constituencies, the other constituencies have re-emerged with new names. Manjeri has re-emerged as Malappuram, Ottappalam as Alathur, Mukundapuram as Chalakudi, Adoor as Pathanamthitta and Chirayinkeezhu as Attingal.