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Kerala Assembly Election 2021, Karunagapally profile: CPI’s R Ramachandran takes on Congress’ CR Mahesh and BJP’s Bitty Sudheer

Key candidates contesting in the 2021 Assembly elections from Karunagapally constituency are: R Ramachandran of CPI, CR Mahesh of Congress, Bitty Sudheer of BJP

Representational Image. Reuters

Karunagapally Assembly Election 2021 | Karunagapally is an Assembly constituency in the Kollam district of Kerala. It is one of the seven Assembly seats that fall under the Alapuzzah Lok Sabha constituency.

The election to the state will be held on 6 April and results will be out on 2 May.

Key candidates contesting in the 2021 Assembly elections from Karunagapally constituency are: R Ramachandran of CPI, CR Mahesh of Congress, Bitty Sudheer of BJP

Past election and results

Kollam district witnessed a spectacular red wave in 2016, becoming the only district to have elected a Left Democratic Front candidate in all Assembly segments. The constituency of Karunagapally is no different. It has also consistently elected LDF backed candidates from 2006 onwards.

 

The sitting MLA R Ramachandran is in fray again to defend the seat. He had defeated Congress CR Mahesh with a slim margin of 1759 votes.

In 2011, CPI’s C Divakaran had defeated JSS’ AN Rajanbabu by more than 15,000 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 Kollam alone, there are 20,93,511 voters of which 9,97,190 are male and 10,96,308 are female. There are 13 third-gender voters in the district.

The Karunagapally constituency has 2,07,775 registered voters ahead of the 2021 elections of which 1,01,154 are male and 1,06,620 are female. One voter has registered 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 79.36 percent of registered voters had come out to vote in the Karunagapally Assembly constituency, of which 75.82 percent were male and 82.69 percent were females.

Population and demography: Total population of the Kollam district is 2,635,375 as per census 2011. Hinduism constitutes 64.42 percent of the Kollam population. Muslims are in minority in the Kollam district, forming 19.30 percent of the total population here. Christians constitute of the 16 percent of the population.

Out of the total Kollam population for 2011 census, 45.05 percent lives in urban regions of district, whereas 54.95 percent of its population lives in rural areas.

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 counting of votes will be done on 2 May.

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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