Kerala Assembly Election 2021, Kanhangad profile: CPI hopes to retain stronghold, but new face likely to replace incumbent E Chandrasekharan
Considering the Communist Party of India has a strict two-term policy, it's likely that incumbent MLA E Chandrasekharan will not get another chance to contest from the seat
Kanhangad Assembly Election 2020 | Kanhangad is an Assembly constituency in the Kasaragod district of Kerala. It falls under the Kasaragod Parliamentary constituency. The current MLA is Communist Party of India leader E Chandrasekharan, who is also Kerala's Minister for Revenue and Housing.
Chandrasekharan had won the seat in 2016 for the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), which includes CPI, CPM, and other Left parties, with a margin of over 26,000 votes defeating his nearest opponent Dhanya Suresh of the Congress.
However, considering the party has a strict two-term policy, it's likely that CPI will contest a new face from the Assembly constituency.
Past election results and winners
Kanhangad Assembly constituency is an LDF stronghold with CPI's Chandrashekharan retaining the seat since 2011. The constituency came into existence following the 2002 delimitation exercise, and the first Assembly election was held in 2011.
In the 2011 election, Chandrashekharan had received 66,640 votes against his nearest competitor Congress' MC Jose who received 54,462.
Total electors, voter turnout, population
Voter turnout: The voter turnout in the 2016 Kanhangad Assembly Election was 78.66 percent, whereas, the voter turnout in the 2011 election was 78.41 percent. The constituency has 196 polling stations as per the latest data from the Kerala Election Commission website.
Electors: As per the final electoral roll published on 20 January, 2021, Kanhangad Assembly has 2,14,080 electors, of whom 1,02,509 electors are male and 1,11,569 female and two transgenders.
As per the latest elecotrate data, Kasaragod district (includes Kasargod, Udma, Kanhangad, Trikaripur and Manjeshwar Assembly segments) has 10,35,042 voters of whom, 5,05,798 are male and 5,29,241 female. There are three third gender voters registered in the district.
According to the Election Commission of India, overall Kerala has 2,67,31,509 electors, of whom 1,29,52,025 are male, 1,37,79,263 female and 221 third gender voters.
Of the total registered voters, 90,709 are overseas voters. The 2021 Kerala Assembly election is the first time overseas electors from the state will be able to cast their ballots from abroad via postal ballots. The majority of the overseas voters are male (84,860 ), followed by women (5,838) and 11 third gender voters.
Population: As per the 2005 delimitation exercise, Kanhangad Assembly constituency includes Kanhangad Muncipality and Ajanur, Balal, Kallar,
Kinanoor-Karindalam, Kodom-Belur, Madikai and Panathady Panchayats in Hosdurg Taluk.
As per Census 2011, of Kerala's 3.34 crore population, 54.73 percent are followers of Hinduism, followed by 26.56 percent followers of Islam and 18.38 percent Christians. Hinduism is the major religion in 13 of the state's 14 districts.
Malappuram is the only district in Kerala where Islam is the major religion with 70.24 percent of the district's total population following the religion.
The state has a tiny population that follows Jainism (0.01 percent), Sikhism (0.01 percent), Buddhism (0.01 percent) and 0.02 percent (other religions). Nearly 0.26 percent in the state didn't state their religion during the 2011 Census.
Election date and timing
The Kerala Assembly/Niyama Sabha polls is likely to be held in April-May 2021 along with Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry.
The Kerala Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) has a total number of 140 seats, of which, 14 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and two seats are reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.
The outgoing Assembly has eight female MLAs and rest 132 are male MLAs. The incumbent Kerala Niyamasabha will expire on 1 June, 2021.
Political alliances and Kerala
Elections in Kerala have traditionally been a contest between the UDF and the LDF with power swinging between the two groups.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Congress-led UDF had won 19 out of the state’s 20 Lok Sabha seats banking on incumbency against the ruling LDF. However, repeating a similar feat in the Assembly polls is going to be an uphill task for the UDF.
The LDF has not only managed to overcome anti-incumbency in the 2020 local body polls but also managed to make inroads into UDF votebanks, particularly in Thrissur, Ernakulam, and Kottayam districts.
The NDA, which is emerging as a third front in Kerala, will be hoping to increase its tally in the Assembly polls. However, given that the BJP-led NDA didn't meet the expectations in the 2020 local body polls despite making gains, its ability to impact either the UDF's or LDF's prospects in the Assembly election remains unclear.
Of the seven Assembly segments that are part of the Kasaragod Parliamentary constituency, five are with the CPM-led LDF (four with CPM, and one with CPI) while IUML, a constituent of the Congress-led UDF, is the second-largest party, winning the remaining two seats (Kasaragod and Manjeshwaram) in the last Assembly polls.
BJP didn't win any of the seven Assembly segments that are part of the Kasaragod Parliamentary constituency in 2016.
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