Kerala

Candidates confident of win in Kottayam

Even as the figures released by the Election Commission of India (EC) on Wednesday confirmed a drop in the total voter turnout in Kottayam, the parties and their candidates came up with claims of victory.

As per the final figures released by the EC, the total polling percentage recorded by Kottayam stood at 72.16 as against 76.90 recorded in 2016.

Of this, Vaikom stood on top of the tally with a voter turnout of 75.61% while Kaduthuruthy was at the last position with 68.05 %.

The polling percentage in Pala, which witnessed a high-stake battle between Jose K. Mani and Mani C. Kappan, too recorded a drop from 77.25 in 2016 to 72.56 this time.

The byelection in 2019, meanwhile, recorded an even lesser voter turnout of 71.43%.

Margin of victory

Notwithstanding the drop, both Mr. Mani and Mr. Kappan exuded confidence over winning the seat by a comfortable margin. While Mr. Mani sought to stay away from predicting his margin of victory, Mr. Kappan said he was expecting a margin of at least 15,000 votes.

Similarly, in Poonjar, which witnessed a four-way contest involving the Kerala Janapaksham (Secular) leader P.C.George, the voting percentage came down from 79.15 % to 72.47 % this time. This sharp fall, however, did not deter Mr.George from celebrating his victory just hours after the polling drew to a close on Tuesday.

While being clearly aware about a consolidation of Muslim votes against him, Mr.George appears confident about the Hindu and Christian voters showing up in full force to support him.

Kanjirappally, which witnessed a three-cornered battle between the UDF, LDF and the NDA, reported 72.13% , down from 76.10 %.

Meanwhile, party strategists are trying to figure out if the people have voted for a regime change and the impact of the Kerala Congress (M)’s decision to align with the LDF.

Curiously, turnout was the lowest in the two seats of Kaduthuruthy and Changanassery, where the Kerala Congress parties had squared up against each other.

“Notwithstanding the positions they hold within the respective coalitions, the decline in the voter turnout in these seats also point to a shrinking appeal of the Kerala Congress politics in Central Travancore.

Middle class

The apathy of the middle class, especially those from the Christian families, to mainstream politics and the imposing presence of the major players like the Congress, CPI(M) can be among the reasons for this,” noted a senior Kerala Congress leader.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 5:19:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/candidates-confident-of-win-in-kottayam/article34266921.ece

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