Kumari fishermen upbeat as Cuthbert wins Assembly bypoll in Vilavancode constituency

The Congress had fielded state General Secretary Cuthbert (47) despite the community’s small population in the Assembly constituency.
Tharahai Cuthbert
Tharahai Cuthbert

KANNIYAKUMARI: The fisher community in Kanniyakumari is elated after Tharahai Cuthbert, who contested on a Congress ticket following S Vijayadharani’s defection to the BJP, emerged victorious in the Vilavancode assembly bypoll. Cuthbert’s win ended the dry run of the fisher community in electoral politics in Kanniyakumari district, as the last time a member of the community was elected as an MLA in the district, was in 1996.

The Congress had fielded state General Secretary Cuthbert (47)despite the community’s small population in the Assembly constituency. She snagged the seat and defeated BJP’s VS Nanthini by a margin of 40,174 votes.

Expressing happiness over her election, Kottaiyil Kumari Meenavan Secretary Meldon Carmel noted the last time a fisher community member was elected to an MLA seat was in 1996. Echoing Carmel’s views was South Asian Fisherman Fraternity (SAFF) General Secretary Father Churchil who said since fishers make up a chunk of the population in Killiyoor, Colachel, and Kanniyakumari Assembly constituencies, political parties should field candidates from the community to enhance their representation.

Cuthbert’s victory has proved to be a celebration point for the fisher community with social worker S Rachel Mary of Erayumanthurai saying her election to the state Assembly comes as a push for the women of the fisher communities.

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