Kerala Assembly Election 2021, Kasaragod profile: NA Nellikkunnu won for second time in 2016 in IUML stronghold
The IUML, a constituent of Congress-led UDF, has won every election from Kasaragod Assembly constituency since 1980
Kasaragod Assembly Election 2020 | Kasaragod is an Assembly constituency in the Kasaragod district of Kerala. It falls under the Kasaragod Parliamentary constituency.
The current MLA is NA Nellikkunnu of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a constituent of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The IUML leader had won the seat in 2016.
Nellikkunnu was at the forefront of criticising the LDF govt over coronavirus restrictions in early March 2020 and the lack of medical infrastructure in the district.As per reports, he was one of the two Kerala MLAs who went into quarantine after coming in contact with a UAE-returnee who had tested positive for COVID-19 in March. He, however, tested negative for the virus. In the past, the Kasaragod MLA has also been accused of interfering with immigration services at the Mangalore airport.
None of the political parties have announced their candidates yet.
Past election results and winners
Kasaragod Assembly constituency is a UDF stronghold with IUML winning every election on the seat since the 1980 Assembly elections. The BJP, the main challenger has been trying to wrest control of the seat for over three decades but has been unsuccessful, emerging as a runner-up in the last 2016 Assembly election as well.
IUML, which is part of the UDF, had won the Kasaragod Assembly in the 2016 Assembly polls with party candidate Nellikkunnu receiving 64,727 votes (44.7 percent of the total polled votes).
He had defeated BJP's Ravisha Thantri Kuntar in the election. Kuntar, however, had received a sizeable 56,120 votes (38.77 percent). Indian National League's Dr AA Ameen was placed third with 21,615 votes.
In the 2011 election, Nellikkunnu had won the seat as well, receiving 53,068 votes. He had defeated BJP's Jayalakshmi N Bhat, who received 43,330 votes.
In 2006, the seat was won by IUML's CT Ahammed Ali who had won the seat for the seventh time without losing even once since the 1980Assembly election. Ali had defeated BJP's V Ravindran with over 10,000 votes.
However, 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.
Total electors, voter turnout, population
As per the 2005 delimitation exercise, Kasaragod Assembly constituency includes Kasaragod Municipality and Badiadka, Bellur, Chengala, Karadka, Kumbdaje, Madhur and Mogral Puthur Panchayats in Kasaragod Taluk.
Voter turnout: The voter turnout in the 2016 Kasaragod Assembly Election was 76.62 percent. The Kasaragod Assembly constituency has 190 polling stations as per the latest data from the Kerala Election Commission website.
Electors: As per the electorate data for 2020, Kasaragod district has 10,16,193 voters of whom, 4,97,130 are male and 5,19,062 female. There is one transgender voter registered in the district.
According to the Election Commission of India, Kerala has 2,62,57,121 electors, of whom 1,26,16,789 are male, 1,34,95,097 female and 149 third gender voters. The state also has 89,213 overseas voters, who will be allowed to vote via postal ballots recently cleared by the Election Commission.
The 2021 Kerala Assembly election is the first time overseas electors from the state will be able to cast their ballots from abroad. The majority of the overseas voters are male (83,624), followed by women (5,577) and 12 third gender voters. There are a total of 55,873 service voters, of whom 53,428 are male and 2,445 female.
Population: 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 which 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 the rest 132 are male MLAs. The incumbent Kerala Niyamasabha will expire on 1 June, 2021.
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.
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