KC(M) likely to feel the pinch of switching over to LDF in Kottayam. What is in store for UDF?

Thomas Chazhikadan. Photo: Manorama

The switchover of the Kerala Congress (M) to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) is likely to harm its prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, a Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey predicted.

Though the UDF votes will shrink and the LDF and the NDA will make gains, the former is expected to wrest the constituency, as per the survey.

The UDF’s vote share is likely to dip to 41.26 per cent from 46.25 per cent, the survey revealed.

The LDF’s 34.58 per cent vote share will increase to 35.82 and the NDA will also up its vote share slightly from 17.04 to 19.1.

Thomas Chazhikadan of the Kerala Congress won the Kottayam seat in the 2019 elections in alliance with the UDF. It is the lone LS seat of the KC(M). Chazhikadan is the LDF candidate this time and will take on Francis George who is a former MP, of the UDF.

BDJS chief Thushar Vellapalli is the NDA candidate in Kottayam, making it a high-voltage contest.

For Kerala Congress (M) chief Jose K Mani, and Kerala Congress (J) president P J Joseph, this is a prestige fight.

The constituency is carved out of Ernakulam district’s Piravam, and Kaduathuruthy, Vaikom, Pala, Puthupally and Ettumanoor assembly constituencies. Most of these have elected UDF legislators to the Assembly.

Chazhikadan had won four times to the Kerala Assembly before being fielded as the LS candidate last time. Minister V N Vasavan of the LDF was his main opponent in 2019. Chazhikadan defeated Vasavan by a margin of 1,06,259 votes but later switched over to the CPM-led LDF. P C Thomas, who got 1.5 lakh votes in 2109 as the NDA candidate has switched over to the UDF and has become Kerala Congress working chairman.

The Manorama News-VMR survey was conducted in March in all the 140 assembly segments of the state, which falls in the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala. It had 28,000 respondents. The query the survey posed to potential voters was this: Who would win if elections were to be held today?

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