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Will Ernakulam remain UDF citadel this time too?

In Kunnathunad, the candidature of Twenty20’s Sujith P Surendran has made the contest unpredictable.

Published: 23rd March 2021 05:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2021 12:52 PM   |  A+A-

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the election campaign of UDF Vypeen assembly candidate Deepak Joy in Vypeen, Kochi. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during the election campaign of UDF Vypeen assembly candidate Deepak Joy in Vypeen, Kochi. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Ernakulam district showed its allegiance towards UDF even when the wind blew in LDF’s favour in the 2016 assembly polls and the civic body elections. UDF’s hopes of retaining its citadel are riding high on these figures. 

UDF has an edge in seats like Tripunithura, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Perumbavoor, Angamaly, Aluva, Paravoor, Thrikkakara, Piravom and Kochi, while LDF’s chances are better in Kunnathunad and Kalamassery. Vypeen and Ernakulam are witnessing a tough battle. The candidature of Shaji George as an LDF-backed independent has turned the fight in Ernakulam into a neck-and-neck bout. 

In assembly polls, LDF was able to send a representative from Ernakulam only twice since 1957 — writer M K Sanoo in 1987 and Sebastian Paul in 1998. On both the occasions, factional feud in Congress helped LDF. Now, sitting MLA T J Vinod is seeking people’s mandate for Congress again. LDF could not field a strong candidate against him despite the support of Latin Catholic Church. NDA has fielded Padmaja S Menon, Mahila Morcha leader. 

In Kunnathunad, the candidature of Twenty20’s Sujith P Surendran has made the contest unpredictable. UDF has fielded legislator V P Sajeendran to retain the seat. P V Sreenijan, a former Youth Congress leader, is the LDF candidate. Renu Raj, BJP state secretary, is the NDA candidate.

Vypeen is the only seat witnessing a battle between debutants. The fishing row may shift votes as fisherfolks have considerable influence here. LDF has fielded K N Unnikrishnan, a CPM district secretariat member, while UDF has fielded Deepak Joy, a Youth Congress leader. BJP has fielded its district secretary K Shyju after taking over the seat from ally BDJS. 

Tripunithura is seeing a repeat of 2016, with five-time MLA K Babu taking on CPM’s M Swaraj, the sitting MLA. Former PSC chairman and Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University Vice-Chancellor K S Radhakrishnan is the NDA candidate.



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