Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Shifting loyalties leave parties confused

Shifting political loyalties have always made Thrissur an unpredictable constituency. It had taken many U-turns in the past to jolt both the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF).

With the major fronts, including the National Democratic Alliance, yet to announce their full list of candidates, the battle lines are yet to be clear in the land of Sakthan.

If the history of past three Assembly elections is any indication, the LDF has a upper hand in the district. The electorate stood with the ruling front in 2006, 2011, and 2016.

But while the LDF secured sweeping victory in 2016, by winning 12 out of the 13 Assembly constituencies in the district, the UDF walked away with all three Lok Sabha seats (Thrissur, Alathur and Chalakudy) in the 2019 elections.

Again in 2020, Thrissur swayed left when the red wave swept the State in the last local body elections. When the LDF won a clear majority in three-tier institutions, it secured the upper hand in municipalities too. After much drama, it retained the Corporation also.

The NDA, which won the Avinissery Panchayat in 2015, lost power this time though they emerged the largest party in the panchayat.

Not a cakewalk

But political observers point out that it will not be a cakewalk for the LDF and the ruling front will have to work harder this time.

Though UDF could not take advantage of the LIFE Mission controversy in the local body elections, it is all set to rake up the issue again in the Assembly elections.

A district with a long coastal line, the deep-sea fishing contract row will be another trump card for the UDF. It is expected to have an impact in at least four constituencies – Guruvayur, Kaipamangalam, Nattika, and Kodungalloor.

Though the contest has always been mainly between the LDF and the UDF, the NDA has made inroads in some of constituencies, especially Thrissur. The impressive vote share garnered by Suresh Gopi in the last Parliament elections has boosted the confidence of the NDA.

Right equation

Getting the caste and community equations right has always been a challenge for the parties in Thrissur where there has always been a religious subtext to their political fortunes.

Minority votes are crucial in the district where there are 35% Christians and 16% Muslims. The district has two influential Catholic dioceses. While Thrissur, Irinjalakuda, Ollur, and Chalakudy constituencies have sizeable Christian votes, the coastal belt has generous Muslim votes.

The LDF has finalised candidates for at least seven constituencies while the UDF for two. The NDA is yet to finalise its list. Internal rumblings are getting louder as the parties finalise the candidate list.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 8:33:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/shifting-loyalties-leave-parties-confused/article34028547.ece

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