Constituency Watch

Written by M Sarita Varma | Updated: Apr 19 2009, 05:46am hrs
This is a heterogenous constituency with a constant inflow of settlers from other towns, vying for government jobs. Once the Nadar community was thought a vote-consolidating critical mass, but the diversity of recent settlers has upset that kind of political equation. LDF candidate Panniyan Ravindran of CPI held the seat in this constituency. Although with mass-appeal, his performance in Parliament has not been highly rated. The constituency has managed to accomplish an allotment of an IIT sub-centre in last five years. Countrys first Indian Institute of Space Sciences was also set up in Thiruvananthapuram during Ravindrans term. Second phase of International Airport expansion is on.

Report card

Very few in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency knew Israel from duck-billed platypus couple of months ago, but now the Muslim pulse in the worlds Jewish psyche is the citys loudest drumbeat. And to such a feverish pitch that the infrastructure-hungry Kerala capital finds any mention of development sorely missing in its poll-talk. Shashi Tharoor, the Congress candidate, was suddenly alleged of being pro-Israeli and anti-Muslim when his syndicated article on Mumbai terror attacks began with a headline Indias Israel envy that was published in the Israeli daily Haaretz.

CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF), which eyes Muslim majority in Northern Kerala, was quick to pounce on this brick dropped by Congress-led UDF candidate. To hammer it in, the Indo-Israeli missile deal signed just a week before election announcement, came handy. Left effectively brandishes a quote from the Israeli JV partner firm that Rs 600 crore was paid as business charges to India. Now even the corner-teashopwalla speaks of the Palestinian cause. Nobody would be surprised if the contest zooms to a triangle or quadrangle in Thiruvananthapuram, a land of floating population and migrants.

Last time, LDF had won 18 out of 20 Kerala seats. BJP is yet to open its Lok Sabha account in Kerala, but in Thiruvananthapuram, the State party chief PK Krishnadas could easily eat into the Congress vote-base. Equally intriguing is the Dalit spin that BSP candidate Neelalohithadasan Nadar could deliver in shaking down both LDF and UDF votes.

Given the cracks in LDFs poll machinery, it would have been simple to predict Dr Tharoors edge. But then, be wary for decades, this is one dark horse constituency heartily cocking a snook at all poll pundits.

Thiruvananthapuram parliamentary constituency

PRE DELIMITATION

Population 7,44,739 (2001 Census)

Electors in 2004 1,250,000

POST DELIMITATION

Break up of the constituency

Consists of assembly constituencies of Thiruvananthapuram, Vattiyurkavu, Nemom, Parassala, Kovalam, Neyyattinkara and Kazhakoottam (formerly Thiruvananthapuram West)

Electors in 2008 1,341,000

Urban 34%

Rural 66%

Sex ratio 1,057 females to 1,000 males

Literacy rate 89%

Female literacy rate 86%

Name of candidates

P Ramachandran Nair LDF

Shashi Tharoor UDF

P K Krishnadas BJP

A Neelalohithadasan Nadar BSP

My voice

Venu Suresh(Gulf expat) 41 years

I would vote for a strategic lobbyist who can rev up the aerospace hub that Kerala captial is rapidly becoming. Id like to see it as Indias knowledge capital, encashing the states literacy and tourist destination status.

Id go for the best as a candidates efficiency matters a lot.

Bindu Kumari (Farmer) 35 years

My vote would be for the candidate wholl be fair to victims of development.The creation of a naturally-dredged port at Vizhinjam would boost export opportunities for cash crops. The port should be expediated, without riding roughshod on the earlier settlers in these areas.

Madhavan Pillai(Retired)- 85 years

I live in a state that gifts long life spans to people without matching civic amenities. I can recall a golden era when the city was a model of civic planning. If any candidate would come out with an action-schedule to make civic life any better, Id be the first to queue up to vote for him.

Infrastructure development

Roads

City development is underway with three flyovers on schedule. But there is lack of an effective public transport facility.

Water

Coastal areas suffer from lack of potable water.

Health

Immunisation coverage is 75.3%, child immunisation coverage is 82% and infant mortality rate as low as 15%.

Railway

People have been agitated owing to lack of railway zone based in Kerala.

Airport

The airport is just six kms from the city and caters to 40 international flights and over thousand passengers daily.

Education

This constituency has a literacy rate of 89.36% and primary school pupil to teacher ratio of 31. Aspiring to be a higher education hub, the infrastructure in this direction is lacking.

Industrial profile

This is not very industrialised constituency as densely populated settlements make scope for manufacturing industries. But it has the states largest IT industry park, Technopark. There are three central sector, 14 state sector, one co-operative sector, four joint sector ,and 60 private sector and large scale industries. There is a fair concentration of coir and handloom co-operatives, but these units are not thriving since exports are down.