An even game in Perumbavoor

BJP’s increasing vote share in the segment a worry for LDF and UDF

The electorate in Perumbavoor Assembly constituency has kept an equidistance from both the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) since 1957.

The scorecard stands at 7-7 as on the Assembly election held in 2016. It was P. Govinda Pillai who opened the account for the Left when he defeated K.A. Damodara Menon of the Congress by 899 votes in 1957. K.M. Chacko of the Congress defeated Mr. Pillai by 2,500 votes in 1960. However, the Marxist ideologue went on to represent the segment in the elections held in 1965 and 1967.

Perumbavoor has given its representatives chances multiple times, except in the case of K.M. Chacko and P.I. Paulose of the Congress, who could not make it twice to the Assembly. P.P. Thankachan of the Congress held the constituency as a strong fort of the UDF for four consecutive times since 1982.

His winning streak came to an end when the Communist Party of India (M) decided to reclaim Perumbavoor, which was a seat usually assigned to its allies, in 2001. Saju Paul of the party defeated P.P. Thankachan, Shanimol Usman and Jaison Joseph in the elections held in 2001, 2006 and 2011 respectively. Eldhose Kunnappilly of the Congress ended the Left reign and wrested the constituency back after a gap of one-and-a-half decades in 2016 when he defeated Mr. Paul by a margin of 7,088 votes.

The decline in vote share remains a worry for the UDF and the LDF as BJP has increased its presence since 2010. Its tally in the Perumbavoor municipality went up to three in 2015 from one in 2010. The party had sent four of its representatives to the council in the recent local body elections. Despite winning the seat in 2016, the vote share of the UDF went down by 0.63 percentage points while the Left faced a dip of 8.17 percentage points compared to 2011.

Second chance

Kerala Congress (M) that entered the Left camp last year has staked claim for the seat while the Congress is likely to give Mr. Kunnappilly a second chance. The position to be adopted by the Jacobite faction amidst the Church row and the impact of the growing presence of Twenty20, which had announced its candidate, figure among the factors to count for this time.

An increase in the BJP’s vote share will have an impact on the outcome going by the slender margin of victory the UDF and the LDF have been getting since 2011. However, the UDF camp seems upbeat about the front’s performance in the civic body elections.

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