Thiruvananthapuram: Vattiyoorkavu Assembly constituency may face a by-election if sitting MLA K. Muraleedharan wins the Vatakara Lok Sabha seat. A number of Congress aspirants have lined up for the seat, including AICC secretary (Karnataka) P. C. Vishnunath, 41, anticipating a by-election. Mr Vishnunath has set up residence at Peroorkada to prepare the ground for a tough electoral battle against the BJP which has made rapid strides in the state.
Vattiyoorkavu seat, which was earlier known as Trivandrum north, was formed after delimitation in 2008. In the 2011 Assembly elections, Mr Muraleedharan defeated CPM fellow traveller Cheriyan Philip by over 16,000 votes. In 2016, Mr Muraleedharan's victory margin came down to 7,622 votes against BJP's Kummanam Rajasekharan, who came second, and CPM's T. N. Seema who came third. The constituency has 65 percent Hindus out of whom 43 percent are Nairs. Christians form 35 percent. When DC asked Mr Vishnunath whether he had moved to a rented home in Vattiyoorkavu constituency, he just smiled.
"The BJP stands no chance here as the Modi charisma of 2014 Lok Sabha elections has disappeared and the non-political BJP voters will desert it once the election results are known on May 23. The Congress has a definite edge in Vattiyoorkavu as the Sabarimala issue will no longer be crucial with the people realising the CPM's game plan," said Mr Vishnunath.
The Vattiyoorkavu seat originally was held by the 'I' group. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala might bat for former Trivandrum North MLA K. Mohan Kumar, who is currently a member of the Kerala State Human Rights Commission. Mr Vishnunath belongs to the 'A' group led by AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy. Mr Chandy is on voice rest at his home here. Mr Muraleedharan told DC that a strong and popular leader would be an ideal choice in Vattiyoorkavu.
"Over the last eight years, I was accessible to each and every voter and I could earn their trust. Only a state leader who belongs to the Nair community can win in Vattiyoorkavu," he said....