Oommen Chandy in Puthuppally
Oommen Chandy, one of the senior Congress leader and former chief minister has completed his 40 years of career as legislator in the Kerala State Assembly. Since 1970, Oommen Chandy consolidated his position in the assembly during the past four decades, getting elected nine times consecutively. In fact, only on three occasions had the constituency gone to the Left - in 1965, 1967 and 1980. (However, in the 1980 election, Oommen Chandy, then as a representative of the Congress(U), contested as an LDF candidate). But it's not the matter of Right or Left, it was Oommen Chandy as the leader of Puthuppally constituency during the past 40 years. This shows the faith his people have kept on him.
In 1970 State Assembly Election, Oommen Chandy was given his first ticket as a candidate of INC in his own Puthupally constituency in Kottayam district. His main opponent was E M George of CPM. It was a tough competition for Oommen Chandy since the people had selected E M George as their MLA in the 1965 and 1967 Assembly Election. But Oommen Chandy made his entry into the assembly with a margin of 7288 votes. This was a great defeat for CPM as they lost their expected win in the constituency. So his footstep to the Kerala politics was very impressive. After this he was again selected from the same constituency in 1977, 1980, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006.
In 1977 State Assembly Election he made his second entry to assembly by defeating his opponent P C Cherian (BLD) by a margin of 15910 votes. Out of the 67181 valid votes, Oommen Chandy Secured 40376 votes while P C Cherian got only 24466 votes.
In 1980 State Assembly Election he made his third entry into the assembly by defeating his main opponent Panicker M R G (NDP) by 113659 votes. He secured a total of 38612 votes followed by M R G Panicker of NDP (24953 votes), Chandra Panicker (independent, 515 votes), C K Mani of INC(I) (449 votes), Koshy Kaithayil (independent, 257 votes), Joseph Antony (199 votes), and C Ollikara (independent, 125 Votes).
In 1982 State Assembly Election, Oommen Chandy made his fourth footstep into the assembly by defeating his main opponent Thomas Rajan of Cong(S) by a margin of 15983 votes. Out of the total 96040 electorates, 73015 of them polled their votes. Oommen Chandy stood first with 42066 votes followed by Thomas Rajan of Cong(S) (26083 votes), K S Sreedharan of BJP (3661 votes), K P Varghese (465 vote), C K Cherian (234 Votes) and T R C Panicker (165 votes).
In 1986 State Assembly Election, he made his fifth entry into the Assembly. This time there were seven candidates to fight for Puthuppally with Oommen Chandy in the front and just followed by CPM candidate V N Vasan. Out of the 114359 voters, 97305 people polled their votes. This time also people did not make any mistake. They again selected Oomen Chandy as their MLA by a margin of 9146 votes. Oommen Chandy got 49170 votes followed by V N Vasan of CPM (40006 votes) and Adv. M S Karunakaran of BJP (5413 votes). The four independent candidates combined secured 2186 votes.
In 1991 State Assembly Election, out of the 139403 electorates, 107331 polled their vote. This time Oommen Chandy won by a margin of 13811 votes again by defeating his main opponent V N Vasan of CPI(M). He secured a total of 56150 votes while V N Vasan secured 42339 votes followed by K P Raghvan Nair of BJP (4692 votes), Markose Patrose of BSP (1682 votes), Babu Thomas (independent, 677 votes) and Kurien Thomas (independent, 131 votes).
In 1996 State Assembly election, there were 5 contestants to fight for the constituency against Oommen Chandy. Among the 146041 voters, 108014 people polled their votes. This time again all others' work went in vein as Oommen Chandy again selected to the assembly by a margin of 10155 votes. He got a total of 54147 votes (51.45%) while his major opponent Reji Zacharia of CPM got only 43992 votes (41.8%). The independent candidate K R Surendren secured 4418 votes followed by Roy Parackal of BSP (1695 votes), Jacob John (Independent, 698 votes) and P A S Kunkukutty (independent, 294 votes).
In 2001 State Assembly Election, there were 3 contestants against Oommen Chandy. However, in spite of the catch-22 situation prevailing in the constituency, one factor that brought this sleepy Assembly segment into media glare was the entry of one of the most colourful personalities the Congress could throw up - Mr. Cheriyan Philip in his new avtar as a star rebel. Out of the 146990 voters, 75.37 % voters polled their vote. This time he got a total of votes of 58531 (52.86%) and defeated his major opponent Cherian Philip of CPM (independent) by a margin of 12575 votes. He got 41.50% votes while P R Muraleedharan of BJP stood third by securing 4727 votes (4.27%). K P Markose who stood as a independent contestant stood fourth by securing 1521 votes (1.37%).
In 2006 State Assembly Election, a total of 4 candidates were there to fight against Oommen Chandy to capture the constituency. The CPM candidate Sindhu Joy was his strongest opponent among them. The other candidates were N K Naryanan Namboothiri of Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP), Sreeni Jacob of BSP and Thomas of IND. There was a total of 153117 voters in the voters' list among that 115358 people polled their vote with a polling rate of 75.34 %. Oommen Chandy got 64910 votes among, which constitutes 56.30 % of the total votes. The runner up Sindhu Joy secured a total of 45047 votes which constitute 39.07 % of the vote. The BJP candidate Narayanan Namboothirui stood third with a total of 3522 votes in his ballot box. The BSP candidate and IND candidate got 1060 and 757 votes respectively. The BJP, BSP and IND candidates combined secured only less than 5% of the total polled votes. This time his won with his ever best margin of 19863 votes.
Now all the people of Kerala are eagerly waiting for the 2011 State Assembly Election. With no doubt, the people of Puthuppally will definitely elect their leader Oommen Chandy, but every one is waiting for the margin he is going to get this time.
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