Constituency: Idukki Lok Sabha Election 2019

How farmers vote will be the key in Idukki

The flood-ravaged district has witnessed seven farmer suicides

Considered to be a pro-United Democratic Front (UDF) constituency, the Idukki Lok Sabha constituency last time elected Joice George, a candidate fielded by the Highrange Samrakshana Samithi (HSS) and supported by the Left Democratic Front (LDF). This time too the LDF has fielded Mr. George and the Congress is once again banking its hopes on Dean Kuriakose.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has fielded Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) candidate Biju Krishnan. In 2014, Mr. George won by a margin of over 50,000 votes

Though Mr. George started the campaign much earlier than Mr. Kuriakose, there are factors favouring the latter including the neutral stance of the Bishop of Idukki and Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in the Wayanad constituency. The Congress camp is hopeful of a wave in favour of it as the party president is contesting in the State and the Western Ghats report on which Mr. George led the campaign last time no more remains an issue.

Major achievements

However, Mr. George has created an image of a vibrant parliamentarian, bringing many developmental projects to the constituency. It was his effort that resulted in the realisation of an Adimaly-Kumily National Highway connecting the Kollam-Theni National Highway and Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway. The announcement of the Palani-Sabarimala National Highway is another high point that favours Mr. George.

Mr. George kept good relations with the Centre and thus obtained funds for various projects. As a parliamentarian, his rank is 18 in terms of performance in the House. With a well-oiled election machinery in the LDF camp, Mr. George has an upper hand in the campaign front.

The main issues in the constituency this time are the August floods and the crisis in the farm sector that led to seven farmer suicides in the district. The UDF camp has actively intervened in the crisis and Mr. Kuriakose even led agitations against the delay in payment of compensation to the flood victims. He was also in the forefront demanding corrective measures and waiving of farm loans to save the farm sector.

The constituency comprises the Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha (Ernakulam district), Thodupuzha, Devikulam, Idukki, Udumbanchola and Peerumade Assembly constituencies. In the last election, the UDF got more votes in the low range areas than the high range.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 8:18:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/how-farmers-vote-will-be-the-key-in-idukki/article26741997.ece

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