Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Fronts swear by development plans to woo voters

A tough battle is on the cards in Irinjalakuda. A predominantly Christian belt, Irinjalakuda has stood with both the United Democratic Front and the Left Democratic Front. It had sent LDF Independent Lonappan Nambadan to the Assembly for four consecutive terms from 1982. However, UDF’s Thomas Unniyadan had won from the constituency in 2001, 2006, and 2011.

In the 2016 election, K.U. Arunan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) defeated Mr. Unniyadan by 2,711 votes. But T.N. Prathapan of the Congress had secured a margin of 11,390 votes in the constituency in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

In the last local body elections, while the Irinjalakuda municipality stood with the UDF, the block panchayat and the grama panchayats favoured the LDF.

While the UDF is fielding Mr. Unniyadan (Kerala Congress Joseph faction) for the sixth time, the LDF is fielding R. Bindu, wife of Communist Party of India (Marxist) acting State secretary A. Vijayaraghavan. The National Democratic Alliance is likely to field former Director Genral of Police Jacob Thomas.

“I had the luck to represent Irinjalakuda 15 years consecutively, which was the golden period of its development,” said Mr. Unniyadan.

“In that period, Irinjalakada became the first constituency in the country to electrify entire houses. For the first time in the State, the entire school students in the constituency became computer literate. I could conduct many cultural events. The taluk hospital became a general hospital. Many drinking water projects, reconstruction of bridges and the biggest court complex in the State... the list is long,” he said.

“But Irinjalakuda lost the development pace in the past five years. Even the CPI(M) refused to give chance for the sitting MLA, who failed on the development front,” Mr. Unniyadan said.

Prof. Bindu, who was born and brought up in Irinjalakdua, has deep roots in the constituency. “I studied here in school and college. My father was also a political leader here. I am familiar with the people and know the pulse of the constituency. There is a favourable political wave for the LDF in the constituency due to the care and development provided by the LDF in the past five years,” Prof. Bindu, Principal in-charge of Sree Kerala Varma College here, said. Prof. Bindu is a former Mayor of Thrissur and central executive committee member of the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

Drinking water shortage is a serious issue plaguing the constituency. Irinjalakuda being a culturally rich area, more cultural institutions should come up here. Another focus will be to develop Irinjalakuda as an education hub, Prof Bindu detailed about her plans for the constituency. Dr. Bindu has already applied for voluntary retirement from her job at Sree Kerala Varma college.

BJP candidate

The plot will get thicker when Mr. Thomas too comes to the constituency as the BJP candidate.

The constituency consists of Irinjalakuda municipality and Aloor, Karalam, Kattur, Muriyad, Padiyur, Poomangalam, and Velukkara grama panchayats.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:04:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/fronts-swear-by-development-plans-to-woo-voters/article34063554.ece

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