Kerala Assembly election 2021, Vamanapuram Profile: CPM fields DK Murali to defend Left bastion, but rising NDA vote share a worry
CPM's Murali is banking on the development work and the infighting within Congress to give him an edge; the Congress, meanwhile, has fielded a new face Anad Jayan
Vamanapuram Assembly Election 2021 | Vamanapuram is an Assembly constituency in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. It is one of the seven Assembly seats that fall under the Attingal Parliamentary constituency. The election to the state will be held on 6 April and results will be out on 2 May.
DK Murali of CPM is the sitting MLA of this constituency, while Congress' Adoor Prakash is the current MP from the Lok Sabha seat. Murali got elected as an MLA in 2016 for the first time in the seat that is known as the 'red fort' for its clear preference for the Left-wing parties. The seat has elected a Congress representative only once since 1967.
CPM has fielded Murali again to defend the Left bastion, and the candidate is banking on the development work and the infighting within Congress to give him an edge. The Congress, meanwhile, has fielded a new face Anad Jayan. On NDA's behalf, ally Bharath Dharma Jana Sena has fielded Thazhava Sahadevan.
Past election and results
Vamanapuram is considered a Left bastion as the constituency has repeatedly elected MLAs from the Left parties. Only twice since it came into existence has it elected a Congress leader: Once in the Niyamasabha polls in 1970 and then in the General Elections of 2019, which is a more recent cause of worry for the CPM.
However, the Left party is assured of a win, as it draws its confidence from its commanding show at the recent local body elections. While it won 14 out of 15 divisions in Vamanapuram block panchayat, the LDF won all of the three divisions, which come under the constituency, in Nedumangad block panchayat. Three out of four divisions that formed part of the Vamanapuram segment in the district panchayat were also won by the LDF.
However, undeniably, another dynamic has been introduced in the mix, ie the BJP. The NDA’s vote share doubled from 4.24 percent in 2011 to 9.87 percent when RV Nikhil of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) represented the coalition in 2016. Senior BJP leader Sobha Surendran won 20.66 percent of the votes from areas coming under the Vamanapuram constituency during the General polls in 2019, according to The Hindu.
In 2016, CPM's Murali won the seat by defeating T Sarathchandra Prasad from Congress with a margin of 9,596 votes. Before him, in 2011, four-term MLA N Krishnan Nair had won the polls by defeating C Mohanachandran of the Congress by 2,236 votes.
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 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 Vamanapuram constituency has 1,97,127 registered voters ahead of the 2021 elections of which 92,265 are male and 1,04,859 are female. Three voters have 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 71.46 percent of registered voters had come out to vote in the Vamanapuram Assembly constituency, of which 70.07 percent were male and 72.86 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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