MAVELIKKARA: Mavelikkara Lok Sabha constituency, which spreads over three districts in Central Travancore, carries the legacy of princely state and the culture derived on the banks of river Achankovil. After the formation of the constituency in 1960, the UDF represented the segment 10 times. The victory of C S Sujatha of the CPM in 2004 after overpowering Ramesh Chennithala, the young face of Congress, with a margin of 7,414 votes, was the only relief to the LDF.
When the constituency was formed in 1960, it comprised seven Assembly constituencies spread across Alappuzha and Kollam districts viz., Kayamkulam, Mavelikkara, Tiruvalla, Kallooppara, Aranmula, Pandalam and Chengannur. In 2008, the delimitation committee reconstituted the constituency with Kuttanad, Mavelikkara, Chengannur, Changanassery, Kunnathur, Kottarakkara and Pathanapuram. Following that Mavelikkara and Kunnathur were reserved for Scheduled Caste community, and it led to the reservation of the LS segment for the SC community in the 2009 election.
The first election held after the formation of the constituency in 1962 saw R Achuthan of Congress winning the LS seat. In 1967, G P Mangalathumadom of Samuktha Socialist Party emerged the winner. Kerala Congress leader R Balakrishna Pillai got elected from the constituency in the next election in 1971, while B K Nair of the Congress got elected in 1977.
While P J Kurian of Congress won in 1980, Thampan Thomas of the Janata Party won in 1984. In the four consecutive elections in 1989, 1991, 1996 and 1998, P J Kurian was elected from the constituency. In 1999, Ramesh Chennithala become victorious, only to taste defeat in 2004 at the hands of C S Sujatha. Kodikunnil Suresh of Congress emerged the winner in 2009 and 2014.
Kurian’s winning streak
P J Kurian won from the constituency in five elections, though he covered a period of 14 years in these elections. Byelections were necessitated in 1991, 1998 and 1999.
LDF upperhand in Assembly segments
In the 2016 Assembly election, the LDF became victorious in five Assembly segments except Changanassery and Pathanapuram constituencies. After Kerala Congress(B) joined the LDF, Pathanapuram segment turned to the LDF. If one goes by the previous Assembly polls, the segment shows a slight tilt towards the Left though in the LS polls the inclination is towards the UDF.
Kottarakkara and Pathanapuram factors
This time the political equation in the constituency has also changed. The Kerala Congress(B) joined the LDF and it will create some changes in political affiliations. Balakrishna Pillai has a significant stake in Kottarakkara and Pathanapuram constituencies in Kollam district.
Krishna Kumar’s BJP stint
Bureaucrat-turned Congress politician S Krishna Kumar had unsuccesfully contested as a BJP candidate in the 2004 polls and bagged 83,013 votes.