Kerala Assembly election 2021, Kazhakkoottam profile: Seat likely to throw up three-way contest with BJP heavyweight in fray
Kazhakkoottam is a seat that is expected to throw a tough contest as it was one of the few constituencies where a BJP candidate managed to come within a fighting distance of victory
Kazhakkoottam Assembly Election 2021 | Kazhakkoottam is an Assembly constituency in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. It is one of the seven Assembly seats that fall under the Thiruvananthapuram Parliamentary constituency. The election to the state will be held on 6 April and results will be out on 2 May.
Kadakampally Surendran of CPM is the sitting MLA of this constituency, while Congress' Shashi Tharoor is the current MP from the Lok Sabha seat. Surendran got elected as an MLA in 1996 for the first time but lost the seat to MA Vaheed for three subsequent elections. He finally won the polls in 2016 and became the minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom Board in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet.
CPM has fielded Surendran again. The Congress, meanwhile, has fielded a fresh face Dr SS Lal who is a medical practitioner in the district. The BJP, meanwhile, has fielded its state vice president Sobha Surendran.
Past election and results
Kazhakkoottam is a seat that is expected to throw a tough contest as it was one of the few constituencies where a BJP candidate managed to come within a fighting distance of victory. Traditionally too, the constituency is known to be a swing seat, throwing up slim margins of victory.
Although currently represented by CPM's Surendran, the BJP candidate in 2016, V Muraleedharan had managed to secure 31.90 percent votes in the constituency. Muraleedharan, who is now a Union minister and a Rajya Sabha MP, had lost out to Surendran by around 7,000 votes. The BJP's rise also meant that MA Vaheed, the three-time MLA from the constituency was not only defeated but was relegated to the third spot winning just 28 percent votes.
Vaheed had first won the seat as an Independent in 2001 by defeating CPM's Bindu Ummar by less than 5,000 votes. He then joined the Congress and won two more terms in 2006 and 2011 by defeating Surendran and C Ajaykumar by very slim margins. Vaheed won the 2006 election by 215 votes and the 2011 poll by 2,196 votes.
This year, the BJP has again fielded a strong contender by giving the ticket to its state vice president and Congress has brought in a fresh face.
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 anti-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 vote-banks, 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.
In the local body polls, however, the people have shown a clear preference towards the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). Since 1979, only once, in 2010, has the United Democratic Front (UDF) upset the apple cart.
Total electors, voter turnout, population
Electors: According to the Election Commission of India, the total number of registered electors in the state is 2,67,31,509, including 1,29,52,025 male, 1,37,79,263 female and 211 third gender voters.
In the district of Thiruvananthapuram alone, there are 27,69,272 voters of which 13,15,905 are male and 14,53,310 are female. There are 57 third-gender voters in the district.
The Kazhakkoottam constituency has 1,89,932 registered voters ahead of the 2021 elections of which 90,957 are male and 98,974 are female. One voter has identified themselves as the third gender.
Voter Turnout: The overall voter turnout during the 2016 Assembly election was 77.35 percent. The percentage voter turnout of women voters excluding the postal ballot was 75.97 percent and that of men voters excluding postal ballot was 78.14 percent.
At least 69.83 percent of registered voters had come out to vote in the Kazhakkoottam Assembly constituency, of which 70.66 percent were male and 69.09 percent were females.
Population and demography: Total population of the Thiruvananthapuram district is 3,301,427 as per census 2011. Hinduism constitutes 66.46 percent of the Thiruvananthapuram population. Muslims are in minority in the Thiruvananthapuram district, forming 13.72 percent of the total population here.
Election date and timing
The Kerala Assembly/Niyama Sabha polls will be held on 6 April, 2021, along with Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The day will also see phase three polls in Assam and West Bengal.
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 current Kerala Niyamasabha session will expire on 1 June, 2021.
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