Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

When Kuttiyadi constituency witnessed a break from the past

Kuttiyadi was a shocker for those who considered it to be a red citadel in Kozhikode district. In the 2016 Assembly election, the erstwhile Meppayur constituency took an unexpected ‘U-turn’ and supported the United Democratic Front (UDF) by ending its 25 years of loyalty to the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The key factor

Seasoned politician K.K. Lathika’s failure in the contest against the UDF’s first timer and businessman Parakkal Abdulla was a hot topic of discussion for years. Though there were political justifications and claims over the thin victory margin of the UDF candidate, the obvious reason for the LDF’s failure was the growing discontent among farmers.

Kuttiyadi continues to be an “agriculturally-sensitive” constituency, according to leaders of farmer organisations.

Even a small fluctuation in the market price of coconut or its by-products affects farmers here. Though political parties have promised the setting up of a mega coconut park in the area, it appears to be a distant dream even now.

However, the LDF camp exudes confidence. Discussions are in the final phase to select the candidate for the constituency. The LDF camp believes that farmer welfare measures initiated by the State government will help the front wrest the constituency back this time, which it lost by a margin of 1,157 votes to the UDF in 2016. The LDF had won the constituency in 2011 with a majority of 6,972 votes.

UDF leaders claim that welfare projects implemented in the constituency in the past five years will help them retain it, this time with a better margin.

Voter turnout in the last election was 1,57,810, which is expected to increase with the entry of new voters. Now, there are 1,96,176 voters in the constituency.

Voters in eight local bodies within the constituency hold the key in determining the fate of candidates in the Assembly elections. Farmer-dominated Ayanchery, Kunnummal, Kuttiyadi, Purameri, Maniyur, Thiruvallur, Velom and Villiappally are With its increasing presence, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is posing a challenge to both the UDF and the LDF. The BJP, which secured 4.4% of the total votes in 2011, had improved its tally to 7.8% in the 2016 elections.

The party is also carrying out aggressive campaigns in the constituency to improve its vote share.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 9:39:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/when-kuttiyadi-constituency-witnessed-a-break-from-the-past/article34008806.ece

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