Kerala Assembly Election 2021, Thiruvambady profile: UDF lost citadel to CPM's Geroge M Thomas in 2016
With the 2021 Assembly election just months away, the Congress and Kerala Congress (M)’s PJ Joseph faction are reportedly eyeing the seat from the UDF
Thiruvambady Assembly Election 2021 | Thiruvambady, an Assembly constituency with a sizeable Muslim and Christian population, is located in the Malappuram district of Kerala. Once a UDF citadel, the constituency is currently represented by CPM MLA George M Thomas who won the 2016 election by 3,008 votes.
Ahead of the last election, trouble brewed in the UDF when the IUML refused to give up its sitting Thiruvambady seat to Congress. The issue blew up after a 2011 letter surfaced in which IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty promised then chief minister Oommen Chandy that the seat would be given to Congress for the 2016 polls.
Malayora Vikasana Samithi (Hill Development Committee), which is supported by the Thamarassery diocese, strongly protested IUML’s move as it had been looking forward to fielding a local candidate who could understand the problems of the constituency’s settler farmers.
Other UDF constituents were also unhappy with the IUML’s announcement which came before the front could hold seat-sharing talks.
With the 2021 Assembly election just months away, the Congress and Kerala Congress (M)’s PJ Joseph faction are reportedly eyeing the seat from the UDF.
The Jose K Mani faction of KC(M), which left the UDF in 2020, is likely to demand the seat from LDF.
Past election results and winners
In 2016, CPM’s George Thomas bagged the seat polling 62,324 votes against IUML nominee VM Ummer, who got 59,316 votes. The result marked Thomas’ return as the Thiruvambady MLA. He had also won the seat for LDF in the 2006 by-election after the demise of then sitting MLA Mathai Chacko.
Total electors, voter turnout, population
Electors: According to the final electorate published in January, Thiruvambady has 1.73 lakh registered voters, of whom 86,275 are male, 87,384 are female and three are third gender elector. There are 174 polling stations in Thiruvambady.
Population: Thiruvambady Assembly constituency comprises of Karassery, Kodencheri, Kodiyathur, Koodaranji, Mukkom, Puthuppadi and Thiruvambadi panchayats.
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 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 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.
Rahul Gandhi will also be campaigning in Kerala on Saturday. He will address three meetings, one rally and a roadshow
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The total electorate in the state includes 1,32,83,724 male voters, 1,41,62,025 female voters and 290 transgenders, according to Election Commission figures