Nemom constituency in Thiruvananthapuram is witnessing a fierce three-way fight among the BJP, the Congress and the CPI-M. It is one of the keenly watched constituencies in Kerala where the BJP won in the 2016 Assembly elections.
BJP has fielded former Mizoram governor and senior party leader Kummanam Rajasekharan, from here, while CPI-M has deputed its old guard, V Sivankutty, to win back the constituency. The Congress has fielded sitting MP K Muraleedharan from the seat.
In the 2016 Assembly elections veteran BJP leader O Rajagopal wrested the seat from CPI-M’s sitting MLA V Sivankutty. In this election, Rajagopal bagged 47.46% of the polled votes, with his nearest rival, V Sivankutty of the CPI-M getting 41.39%. The Congress had left the seat for its UDF minor ally JD(U). The JD(U)’s V Surendran Pillai got only 9.7% votes.
The entry of K Muralidharan in election arena has given a new dimension to the contest in Nemom. Son of former chief minister and Congress leader KKarunakaran, Muraleedharan, has huge connections in the constituency. Muralidharan had contested from Vattiyoorkavu, a constituency bordering Nemom before electing to Lok Sabha from Vadakara. As for BJP, it remains to be seen whether former Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan will be able to repeat the success registered by veteran leader O Rajagopal in 2016.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, while Congress leader ShashiTharoor won from Thiruvananthapuram, in the Nemom Assembly segment falling under the constituency, the BJP’s Kummanam Rajasekharan had a lead of 12,041 votes over Tharoor. Rajasekharan got 58,513 votes, while Tharoor had 46,472. The CPI got only 33,921 votes.
In the recent civic body elections as well, of the 23 divisions of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation falling under the Nemom constituency, the BJP won 14. The LDF took the remaining nine.
This shows that BJP has steadily expanded its base in the constituency.
Now, the question is whether the entry of K Muralidhran in the field will change the electoral arithmetic’s in the constituency, or whether lotus be again bloomed in Nemom.