Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

In Muvattupuzha, unpredictable shifts in voting patterns

The electoral fortunes of political parties in the Muvattupuzha Assembly constituency have kept changing, ever since its formation in 1957. Political observers attribute this to a predominantly well-educated population and a balanced mix of different communities in the largely agricultural region.

The unpredictable shifts in voting patterns during the past two decades have kept both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) on tenterhooks till poll results were announced.

The 2016 Assembly election saw Eldho Abraham of the Communist Party of India (CPI)wrest the seat from Joseph Vazhakkan of the Indian National Congress (INC), who won in 2011. They got a vote share of 49.27 % and 42.70 % respectively, while P.J. Thomas of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 6.84 %.

In 2006, the voters had selected Babu Paul of the CPI, while Johny Nellore of Kerala Congress recorded a hat-trick, in 2001, 1996 and 1991, an exception to the varying voting patterns. An Independent, A.V. Issac, won in 1987, while candidates of Kerala Congress groups won in 1982, 1980 and 1977. Pennamma Jacob who won in 1970 was an Independent candidate. The constituency voted K.M. George of the Congress as MLA in 1957 and 1960. P.V. Abraham of the CPI won in 1967.

Speaking about the peculiarities of Muvattupuzha located in Ernakulam district, M.P. Mathai, who retired as Director of Gandhian Studies from the Mahatma Gandhi University, said it was largely a rural constituency, although the town wore a semi-urban look. “There is now a demand from different quarters, including from political parties, that a district be carved out of Muvattupuzha. This might provide a boost to physical infrastructure of the region, but might take away the region’s identity as a locale sans pollution. Even now, devoid of much urban activity, traffic hold-ups are common in the town,” he said.

A pair of bridges remained underutilised — one which is incomplete and another which cannot be used for want of approach roads. Similarly, the Muvattupuzha Valley Irrigation Project (MVIP), work on which began decades ago, has not yielded the desired results, it is learnt.

“What Muvattupuzha needs is an alternative plan to decongest the town and roads that lead there. For this, funds must be earmarked to develop it as Kochi’s satellite township, rather than an independent district. The constituency thus needs a promising MLA who has a clear vision,” said Mr. Mathai.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 6:54:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/in-muvattupuzha-unpredictable-shifts-in-voting-patterns/article34001397.ece

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