Kerala Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

When UDF lost its upper hand in Mananthavady

Mananthavady, one of the two seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes in the State, was once considered a traditional bastion of the United Democratic Front (UDF). But when the segment was carved out in 2011 after detaching Kelakam and Kottiyur grama panchayats from Kannur district, the front lost its upper hand in the constituency.

However, in the maiden election in Mananthavady in 2011, former Minister P.K. Jayalakshmi of the Congress won with a margin of 12,734 votes against her rival K.C. Kunhiraman of the CPI(M).

Ms. Jayalakshmi secured 62,996 votes and Mr. Kunhiraman got 50,262 votes. He defeated P. Balan of the UDF by a margin of 15,115 votes in 2006.

However, in 2016, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) retained the segment by a margin of 1,307 votes. This time, O.R. Kelu of the CPI(M) won by 62,436 votes, and his opponent Ms. Jyalakshmi got 61,129 votes. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) got 16, 830 votes.

The Mananthavady constituency comprises six grama panchayats and a municipality. They are Edavaka, Panamaram, Thavinhal, Thirunelly, Thondernad and Vellamunda panchayats and Mananthavady Municipality. In the local body polls, the LDF won in three grama panchayats and UDF in two and Mananthavady Municipality. Both the fronts got equal seats in Panamaram grama panchayat.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, the LDF had swept three grama panchayats and Mananthavady Municipality.

However, in Lok Sabha polls, the constituency favoured the UDF. The front won 93,237 votes, while the LDF secured 38,206. The NDA got 13,916 votes.

Nevertheless, the history of the Assembly segment shows that it has always supported the UDF since 1987. The LDF could win twice in 2006 and 2016. Sitting MLA O.R. Kelu and Ms. Jayalakshmi are likely to be the LDF and UDF candidates respectively this time. There are 1,91,411 voters, including 96,113 women and 96,268 men, in the constituency.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 11:55:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/when-udf-lost-its-upper-hand-in-mananthavady/article34001596.ece

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