Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

In Thiruvambady, small margins are the big concern

The thin victory margins in the previous elections continue to be the biggest stress factor for both the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) in Thiruvambady, a fortress of settler farmers in Kozhikode. The present effort to woo the settler farmers and gain the attention of the Thamarassery diocese is proof that both the fronts are convinced about the farmers’ crucial role in their performance.

The victory margin of LDF’s George M. Thomas against his UDF rival V.M. Ummer last time was just 3,008 votes. In the 2011 elections, it was UDF’s C. Moyinkutty who trounced Mr. Thomas for 3,883 votes. In 2011, the total number of voters was 1,45,763. Though it increased to 1,68,412 last time, the margin did not witness a considerable change.

The Mukkom municipality and six other grama panchayats (Karassery, Kodiyathur, Kodenchery, Koodaranhi, Puthuppadi and Thiruvambady) form this upland electorate. The difficulties faced by farmers following the fall in price of agriculture produce, wild animal menace, land disputes with the Forest and Revenue Departments and the buffer zone classification top the electorate’s concerns. It draws the prime attention of both the fronts for their election manifestos.

Since the church’s stance is seemingly crucial for the significant victory margin, both the fronts are trying their best to convince the church about their farmer-friendly development agenda. The leaders of the Indian Union Muslim League have already met Thamarassery Bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil for support.

For the LDF, the entry of the Kerala Congress (M) faction has added confidence. They believe that the thin victory margin will be a thing of the past with the new ally having good support of the church. As part of the LDF’s election strategies, the church’s inclination for a candidate from the Christian community is also likely to be taken up.

At the same time, the UDF is hopeful of staging a comeback, citing its several decades of hold in the constituency. Congress candidate Cyriac John and P.P. George were the winners here from 1977 to 1987. A.V. Abdurahiman Haji was the representative from 1991 to 1996. In 2001, it was C. Moyinkutty, who was elected to the Assembly. UDF’s dominance was affected with the entry of CPI(M)’s Mathai Chacko in 2006. For both the fronts, the increase in Bharatiya Janata Party’s vote share from 3% to 6% in the last election does not appear to be a major concern.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 9:55:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/in-thiruvambady-small-margins-are-the-big-concern/article34001616.ece

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