Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Veteran and newcomer in fight for coastal seat

A former Minister pitted against a first-timer — Chavara is all set to witness an interesting electoral battle between Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) stalwart Shibu Baby John and Sujith Vijayan, LDF Independent and the son of the late MLA N. Vijayan Pillai.

In nine out of the 10 Assembly polls since the formation of the constituency in 1977, Chavara has stood with the RSP and it is no secret that the party enjoys a massive vote base there. But in 2016, the segment threw in a surprise when Communist Marxist Party (CMP) candidate and Left Democratic Front ally N. Vijayan Pillai defeated Mr. John by a margin of 6,189 votes in the RSP stronghold.

The Chavara segment covers seven divisions of the Kollam Corporation (Maruthadi, Sakthikulangara, Meenathuchery, Kavanad, Vallikeezhu, Alattukavu and Kannimel) and five grama panchayats (Chavara, Neendakara, Panmana, Thekkumbhagom and Thevalakkara).

Baby John, one of the founders and formidable leaders of the RSP, had represented the constituency six times and his son, Mr. John, was elected from Chavara in 2001 and 2011. After Baby John’s death, Mr. John formed the RSP(B) and contested the election as a coalition partner of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 2001. He defeated RSP’s V.P. Ramakrishna Pillai by a margin of 12,483 votes, but in 2006, he lost to RSP leader and current Kollam MP N.K. Premachandran.

Past results

In 2011, the tables were turned and Mr. John won the electoral battle defeating Mr. Premachandran. Later, the RSP(B) merged with its parent party and Mr. John once again entered the fray as UDF candidate in 2016. Though everything seemed to be in favour of him, Mr. John received the biggest setback of his political career when Vijyan Pillai clinched the victory.

Vijayan Pillai, who started off as an RSP worker, had later joined the Congress and then the CMP. He had served as a local body member for over 20 years and was quite acquainted with workers of both fronts. After he won the 2016 election as an LDF Independent candidate, the pro-LDF faction of the CMP merged with the CPI(M).

Flanked by the Arabian sea and Ashtamudi Lake on two sides, the constituency has a considerable population of fishers. Mr. John has been a constant presence in all protests organised by the UDF against the alleged deep-sea fishing contract and the front is expected to turn the issue into a major poll plank. While the RSP will leave no stone unturned to recapture its citadel, the LDF camp seems equally determined to retain it.

The National Democratic Alliance, which fielded M. Sunil of the BJP during the last Assembly polls, is yet to announce its candidate.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 9, 2021 11:24:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/veteran-vs-newcomer-in-fight-for-coastal-seat/article34046782.ece

In This Series
Close contest on the cards in Chirayinkeezhu
Kerala Assembly elections | Development, drinking water make it a do-or-die battle for the Attingal seat
It’s quite a prestige issue to win Wadakkanchery
Kerala Assembly Elections | Triangular contest in Muvattupuzha
Kerala Assembly Elections | Perumbavoor gears up for a tough poll battle
Kerala Assembly polls | Line-up, campaign themes hog the limelight
Kerala Assembly polls | Fronts tread Pathanamthitta terrain with care
Kerala Assembly Elections | From IT infra to protection of faith, Kazhakuttam covers all
Kerala Assembly Elections | ‘Deal’ allegation hangs over Chengannur electioneering
Kerala Assembly Elections | Former allies in a pulsating face-off in Kaduthuruthy
Kerala Assembly Elections | ‘Loyalty’ factor may come into play in Idukki
Kerala Assembly Elections | A three-way, neck-and-neck tussle in Thrissur
Kerala Assembly Elections | A secure red fortress shows signs of faltering
LDF senses a chance for victory in Kalamassery
Interesting poll battle in Perambra
Battle of prestige in Kunnamangalam
Not a cakewalk for the prime contenders
IT land hosts a fierce fight
No easy choice in Kanjirappally
Catapulted to the spotlight by a candidate
A straight fight on the cards in Angamaly
No favourites for the nascent seat
Battle for Koduvally hots up
Kerala Assembly Elections | Congress banks yet again on Satheesan in Paravur
Battle of images in Thripunithura
No surprise candidates in Cong. list for Ernakulam
Church row a key factor in Kothamangalam
Battle lines drawn in Kottayam and Pathanamthitta
No political front is expecting a cakewalk this time
LDF seeks to cash in on UDF woes
Kerala Assembly polls | Tightrope walk for the Congress
Kerala Assembly Elections | Infighting, factional feud, personality politics plague Congress, CPI(M) and BJP
A ‘red fort’ that shows chances of colour change
Discontent in IUML against Majeed in Tirurangadi
Fronts swear by development plans to woo voters
Kerala Assembly Elections | A Left citadel that has favoured Congress too
LDF, UDF hopeful in Neyyattinkara, cautious too
You are reading
Veteran and newcomer in fight for coastal seat
It’s Mani legacy vs Mani namesake in Pala
Kozhikode South: no unwavering loyalty here
In Azhikode, there’s always room for surprise
Parties hope to sway voters with development plank
Clear picture on Vadakara candidates yet to emerge
An impenetrable fortress of the Left so far
Shifting loyalties leave parties confused
In traditional LDF bastion, UDF hopes to break ground
LDF, UDF tussle for Cherthala as NDA keeps hopes
Parassala constituency: an oscillating segment
An even game in Perumbavoor
Rahul’s base Wayanad a status symbol for UDF
Nadapuram voters may have a déjà vu
A few challenges for the Left in its bastion
Kovalam has no extreme loyalty
Kunnathur has mostly leaned towards the Left
Wadakkanchery, a prestige issue for fronts
Rubber heartland presents a hotbed of possibilities
Attingal - a Left citadel with laurels equally shared
In Ernakulam, a test of political theories
A UDF bastion that went the LDF way last time
Vallikkunnu, an IUML bastion by default
Will the CPI(M) continue its winning streak in Koyilandy?
When Kuttiyadi constituency witnessed a break from the past
Equations could see a change in Kasaragod
In Thiruvambady, small margins are the big concern
When UDF lost its upper hand in Mananthavady
Vadakara, a socialist bastion with Marxist vote base
Aluva remains a traditional Congress citadel
Kondotty, an IUML fortress that is hard to breach
Shifting loyalties with a tilt towards Congress
Twists and turns of Alappuzha’s poll graph
In Muvattupuzha, unpredictable shifts in voting patterns
Where polls are special for many reasons
Next Story