Kerala

Idukki constituency in the limelight

The electoral prospects of two leaders who were part of rival fronts and switched sides later is the topic of discussion among voters in the Idukki constituency.

Here, Roshy Augustine of the Kerala Congress (M) of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) is taking on Francis George of the Kerala Congress, which is part of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

The Idukki constituency recorded the lowest voting percentage among the five constituencies in Idukki district.

The constituency recorded a turnout of 68.94% this time against 76.38% recorded in 2016.

While Mr. Augustine moved from the UDF to the LDF with the Kerala Congress (M) switching sides, Mr. George, who was part of the LDF, is in the Kerala Congress, a constituent of the UDF.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, Mr. Augustine was the UDF candidate and Mr. George the LDF candidate in the constituency. The former won with a margin of 9,333 votes.

“Six months back there were boards put up by the main party in the LDF portraying Mr Augustine as anti-development. Now, the same front had campaigned for him as pro-development,” says a worker of a major political party who abstained from campaigning this time.

Fall of 10,000 votes

“The constituency has a large number of settler farmers and the absence of estate workers has also to be considered. There is a decline of nearly 10,000 votes this time. This is not a small figure as it has a say in the margin of victory,” says a leader of a farmers’ movement.

The constituency was in the forefront of agitations against the Western Ghats reports. There is a feeling that the candidates shifted to the opposite camp for their benefits. This might have resulted in the indifferent attitude of voters, says George Thomas, a resident of Karimban.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:23:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/idukki-constituency-in-the-limelight/article34275063.ece

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