2014 MP Election Survey for Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu 3Feb2014
Kanyakumari (Lok Sabha constituency)
Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency is one of the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu state in southern India. It was formed after the delimitation in 2008 by merging Kanyakumari assembly segment from the erstwhile Tiruchendur constituency with the erstwhile Nagercoil constituency. This happens to be the strongest constituency for the Congress party in the whole of india.
Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency is currently composed of the following assembly segments:
Kanyakumari is the southern-most constituency in the country. It is a new constituency formed after delimitation; it was earlier part of the Tiruchendur constituency. It consists of six assembly segments -- Kanyakumari, Nagercoil, Colachel, Padmanabhapuram, Vilivankode and Killiyoor.
Kanyakumari has the highest per capita income in Tamil Nadu and the second highest literacy rate.
As many as 23 candidates are in the Kanyakumari fray. The main contestants are Helen Davidson of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Pon Radhakrishnan of the Bharatiya Janata Party, S Austin of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and P Sivakami of the Bahujan Samaj Party plus the sitting MP A V Bellarmin of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, who is supported by J Jayalalithaa's All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham.
Davidson is an MSc, BEd. Before this election she was unknown in the district. Now, her face is plastered on every available wall in the villages and towns of the constituency.
Radhakrishnan won this seat in 1999 with the DMK's help. He went on to become a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Locals say that after winning with the Hindu vote, Radhakrishnan went out of his way to please the Christians during his tenure as MP. This, they claim, was the main reason he lost the 2004 election. Locals have unkind words to say about their current MP as well.
In 1998, Radhakrishnan lost the election when the BJP was an ally of the AIADMK. This is the reason the DMK has ventured into this electoral province after 25 years. Chief Minister and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi had said earlier, 'Nellai enga Ellai, Kumari enga thollai meaning 'Tirunelveli district is our border, Kanyakumari is our problem.'
The DMK noted that its support helped the BJP candidate win in 1999; in 2004 it ensured Communist candidate Bellarmin's victory. If the DMK could make others win, why not contest the election itself?
S Austin of the DMDK -- Tamil movie star Vijayakanth's party -- is a former MLA. He has been a member of the Congress and AIADMK before. He will divide the Christian vote. Bellarmin, Davidson and Austin dividing the Christian vote may ensure Radhakrishnan's victory.