In the 2016 Assembly election, Kunnamangalam witnessed a voter turnout of 85.5 percent

Kerala Assembly Election 2021, Kunnamangalam profile: INL's PTA Rahim won second consecutive term in 2016

Representational image. PTI

Kunnamangalam Assembly Election 2021 | Kunnamangalam, an Assembly segment in Kozhikode Lok Sabha constituency, has largely favoured Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and its breakaway parties in elections.

However, incumbent MLA and Indian National League’s (INL) PTA Rahim successfully contested as an LDF-backed Independent candidate in the 2011 and 2016 Assembly polls.

UDF-backed Dalit leader UC Raman of IUML represented Kunnamangalam for two terms from 2001. After he lost the seat to Rahim in 2011, Raman challenged the INL leader’s election claiming that he was holding an ‘office for profit’ by being the chairman of the Kerala Haj Committee. The Kerala High Court dismissed Raman’s plea in 2012.

Ahead of the 2021 election, Congress is reportedly in talks with the IUML over seat-sharing in Kozhikode and Kannur districts. The Hindu reported that some Congress members felt that seat allocation was among the reasons why UDF candidates lost seats in the districts. The Congress had swapped Balussery with IUML for Kunnamangalam in the last election.

Kunnamangalam will vote on 6 April, 2021 along with 139 other constituencies in the state.

Past election results and winners

In 2011, LDF’s PTA Rahim defeated sitting MLA UC Raman by 3,269 votes. While Rahim polled 66,169 votes, Raman received 62,900 votes.

Rahim retained his seat in 2016, polling 77,410 votes against Congress’ T Siddique, who secured 66,205 votes.

Total electors, voter turnout, population

Electors: In Kunnamangalam, 2,22,481 people are registered to vote in the 2021 Assembly election. The electorate comprises 1,08,579 male, 1,13,901 female, and one third-gender. The constituency has 153 polling stations.

Voter turnout: In the 2016 Assembly election, Kunnamangalam witnessed a voter turnout of 85.5 percent. A total of 1.79 lakh (86,121 male and 92,903 female) of 2.09 lakh registered voters showed up to exercise their franchise.

Population: Kunnamangalam has six panchayats under it: Chathamangalam, Kunnamangalam, Mavoor, Olavanna, Perumanna and Peruvayal.

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.

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.

Political alliances in 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.

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