CPI(M)'s K.R. Vijaya takes on Thomas Unniyadan of Kerala Congress (M)
It is not easy to predict the loyalty of the Irinjalakuda electorate. The constituency has favoured both the LDF and the UDF in the past. The redrawing of the constituency boundaries makes predictions all the more difficult.
While the LDF is in control at Karalam, Kattur, Padiyur, and Muriyad panchayats in the constituency, the UDF is in power at Irinjalakuda municipality and the panchayats of Velukkara, Aloor and Poomangalam. After the recent delimitation, Parappukkara has been added to Pudukkad. Aloor of the now-extinct Mala constituency has been added to Irinjalakuda.
The constituency stood by the LDF for four consecutive terms from 1982. Senior leader Lonappan Nambadan represented Irinjalakuda.
Sitting MLA Thomas Unniyadan of the Kerala Congress (M) wrested the constituency back in 2001. Irinjalakuda had set a development model, claimed Mr. Unniyadan. “It achieved many ‘firsts' in the past decade. It was the first constituency in the country to be electrified totally. It became the first e-literate constituency in the State, with total computer literacy in schools. The constituency witnessed development projects worth Rs.56 crore, including infrastructure development, healthcare and cultural activities,” he said.
The LDF has fielded Janadipathya Mahila Association district president and two-time municipal councillor K.R. Vijaya. She is the lone woman candidate of the CPI(M) in the district.
Refuting UDF claims, Ms. Vijaya said the much-publicised achievements of the UDF remained on campaign hoardings. “Compared with neighbouring constituencies such as Kodakara and Chalakudy, Irinjalakuda paints a gloomy picture of basic growth targets. Mr. Unniyadan ignored people's real problems. The farm sector has been totally neglected. He failed in creating job opportunities for youth,” she alleged.
The BJP is trying to improve its share of votes. It has fielded K.C. Venugopal, a higher secondary school teacher. In 2006, BJP candidate P.G. Anil Kumar scored 3,796 votes. Christian voters in the constituency may influence the poll outcome. Irinjalakuda has 1,74,244 voters, including 81,370 men, 92,696 women, 155 service voters.