Kerala

Dean benefits from a host of factors

United Democratic Front candidate in Idukki Dean Kuriakose waving to supporters at Cheruthoni in Idukki district on Thursday.  

If in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the High Range Samrakshana Samiti (HSS), an umbrella organisation under the Church, fielded its own candidate in the Idukki constituency and openly campaigned for him, the Church took a neutral stance this time.

In 2014, HSS candidate Joice George, with the support of the Left Democratic Front, defeated United Democratic Front candidate Dean Kuriakose by over 50,000 votes.

However, the Church took a neutral stance in this elections with the Idukki Bishop issuing a circular to priests not to directly involve in the elections. Though the HSS campaigned for the same candidate, it was a low key affair.

The victory of Mr. Kuriakose by 1,71,053 votes over Mr. George is an outcome of a number of factors, including the Church’s stance, agrarian crisis, and the post-flood rehabilitation imbroglio. Mr. Kuriakose got 4,98,493 votes against the 3,27,440 votes polled by Mr. George.

The agrarian crisis that led to the suicide of eight farmers had an impact as there was a general feeling that rehabilitation and reconstruction post-floods lacked serious governmental intervention. The Western Ghats report, which the LDF highlighted this time too, had little impact.

HSS convener Sebastian Kochupurackal on Thursday said though the Western Ghats report was relevant, agrarian crisis and post-flood rehabilitation were issues discussed more during the campaign.

When the farmer suicides hit social conciseness, the UDF staged a dharna at Kattappana, the high range town where the Western Ghats report made a ripple in the 2014 elections. Mr. Kuriakose was in the forefront of the agitations organised by the UDF demanding waiver of farm loans and active intervention of the government in the sector.

In the eight elections since the constituency was formed, UDF had won six and the LDF two.

National Democratic Alliance candidate Biju Krishnan of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena got 78,648 votes.

Though the Sabarimala issue did not lead to consolidation of votes in favour of the NDA, it had an impact in addition to the general trend in favour of the UDF after Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in Wayanad.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:58:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/dean-benefits-from-a-host-of-factors/article27226204.ece

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