Anoop Jacob romps home in Piravom with a resounding majority

The United Democratic Front (UDF) has retained the Piravom Assembly constituency, one of its bastions in Ernakulam district, with Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader and sitting MLA Anoop Jacob pulling off a hat-trick, defeating Sindhumol Jacob of the Kerala Congress (M).

Mr. Jacob maintained his winning streak, defeating his LDF rival by a thumping margin of 25,364 votes. While Mr. Jacob secured 85,056 votes, Ms. Jacob got 59,692 votes. The BJP’s M. Ashish could secure only 11,021 votes, less than those polled by the party in 2016. The polls had witnessed a voter turnout of 72.46% as against 80.38% in 2016.

Mr. Jacob had won the seat in 2016, defeating the CPI(M)’s M.J. Jacob by a margin of 6,195 votes. While Mr. Jacob had secured 73,770 votes, his nearest rival M.J. Jacob got 67,575 votes. C.P. Sathyan, of the Bharath Darma Jana Sena, an NDA constituent, got 17,503.

Anoop Jacob had contested for the first time in the 2012 bypoll following the demise of his father T.M. Jacob, the founder of the Kerala Congress (Jacob). He had then won, defeating his nearest rival M.J. Jacob of the CPI(M) by over 12,000 votes. T.M. Jacob had won the seat five times in 1977, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2011.

The bitterness among Kerala Congress (M) workers and the CPI(M) rank and file over fielding Ms. Jacob, a CPI(M)-backed block panchayat member from Uzhavoor, as the Kerala Congress (M) candidate seemed to have put a spoke in the wheels of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).

The seat, where the CPI(M) had contested in the previous elections, was allotted to the Kerala Congress (M). Irked by the selection of the candidate, Kerala Congress (M) youth wing leader and aspirant Gils Periappuram had put in his papers. Though the LDF quickly sorted out the issue and went ahead with electioneering, it seemed to have thrown cold water on the enthusiasm of CPI(M) workers as well as those of the Kerala Congress (M). As a result, it became a cakewalk for Mr. Anoop as was proved by his thumping victory.

The LDF had won Piravom only twice. It had romped home for the first time in 1987 when Gopi Kottamurikkal of the CPI(M) won by a margin of 16,480 votes. The UDF had suffered a major defeat then mainly due to the presence of C. Poulose, a Congress rebel who had contested as an Independent. He bagged 24,840 votes.

In 2006, the CPI(M) wrested the constituency when its candidate M.J. Jacob defeated T.M. Jacob. The two LDF victories apart, Piravom continues to remain a UDF stronghold.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 12:52:05 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/anoop-jacob-romps-home-in-piravom-with-a-resounding-majority/article34464865.ece