Muvattupuzha: The Muvattupuzha assembly constituency in central Kerala has been a stronghold of the United Democratic Front (UDF) for decades. But that doesn't discourage its main opponent Left Democratic Front (LDF) to fancy its chances, yet again.
As the name Muvattupuzha suggests the place is at the confluence of three rivers. Naturally, farming takes precedence and political parties try to address voters' concern over pressing agrarian issues.
The UDF has so far won 11 of the 15 electoral battles that have taken place after the birth of this constituency. Muvattupuzha was taken by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) only four times, the 2016 assembly polls included.
Will CPI's sitting MLA Eldoh Abraham contest again? Reports say he is most likely, but Congress may not persist with Joseph Vazhakkan after his defeat last time.
Kerala Congress and Congress candidates have won most times from the Muvattupuzha constituency. In the first elections held in 1957 and in 1960 Congress leader K M George was the winner. Subsequently, with the formation of Kerala Congress under his leadership, his party's candidates started winning from the constituency.
AT Pathrose, PC Joseph, VV Joseph and Johnny Nelloor were the other Kerala Congress leaders who represented Muvattupuzha on several occasions. VV Joseph won twice as a Kerala Congress (Joseph) candidate and Johnny Nelloor thrice on a Kerala Congress (Mani) ticket.
Pennamma Jacob, an independent candidate supported by the United Front, had also won from here. It was way back in 1970.
After CPI's Babu Paul defeated Johnny Nelloor, the then Kerala Congress (Jacob) candidate in 2006, the Congress took over the seat in 2011 and wrested it with Joseph Vazhakkan.
However, CPI's fresh face Eldoh Abraham surprised Vazhakkan in 2016. Prior to that CPI had tasted success in 1967 and 2006. The Left won from here first in 1967 when P. V. Abraham defeated Congress candidate KC Pylee.
But most of the times CPI tried to field independent candidates, but this tactics paid off only with Dr AV Isaac in 1987. He humbled V V Joseph of the Kerala Congress (Joseph) who was attempting a hat-trick of wins.
Joseph who entered the fray hoping for a victory moved out of electoral arena after the defeat. But thereafter the LDF could win from here after two decades with Babu Paul.
The Muvattupuzha assembly constituency comprises the Muvattupuzha municipality as well as the Paippra, Valakom, Manjaloor, Ayavana, Maradi, Kaloorkode, Arakuzha, Avoli, Paingkotoor and Pothanikkad panchayats.