Lotus bloomed in Tamil Nadu in 2021 assembly elections. But in the neighbouring Kerala, it was a tough battle for BJP. Their vote share remains and the single seat which they had also vanished. But what we cannot deny is the valiant fight put forth by the Saffron party.
In 9 assembly segments, they came second with a marginal vote difference. Here are some of them.
K Surendran, BJP Kerala State President contested from this seat. Traditionally, IUML has been the most favoured party owing to the large muslim population here. Despite the fact, the BJP state president could garner 65,013 votes. But AKM Ashraf of IUML stood a little ahead with 65,758 votes. Surprisingly, IUML’s vote share from last time here reduced by 2.05 percent.
Kasargod district has a muslim population of nearly 37 percent and that is enough to ensure a comfortable victory. But, IUML’s N A Nellikunnu won with a margin of 12,901 votes with BJP’s K Shreekanth becoming the runner-up.
Even though, the BJP candidate lost, one thing seems to be happening quite visibly i.e., Hindu Vote consolidation in Kerala. Yes, at least in Kasargod, of the 55 percent Hindu votes, a major chunk is already consolidated by BJP.
Malampuzha comes under the Palakkad District. It is notable that E Sreedharan, fondly known as the Metro Man contested from Palakkad Assembly constituency. The same effect could be felt at the nearby Malampuzha as well.
But from 1967 and till now, even UDF did not had the chance of winning this seat. This only means, BJP could touch the second place by increasing its vote share and conceding a defeat with 50,200 votes.
Also, V S Achuthanandan, the former Chief Minister of Kerala contested and won from this seat.
E Sreedharan’s victory was the most expected one for BJP this time. But again, in a place where muslim vote bank is stronger, getting a edge with the developmental agenda too will fall. Moreover, Shafi Parambil has been winning this seat with marginal victories since 2011. Yet, the Metro Man as the Chief Minister Candidate gave a tough fight. Unlikely, he conceded a defeat with just 3859 votes.
Chathanoor comes under Kollam District which has a 19.3 percent Muslim population and 16 percent Christian population. While the remaining 64.42 percent are Hindus, one might think why couldn’t BJP consolidate at least 40 percent of this.
Well, this time we should say it did happen to an extent. Also, they grabbed 19 percent of UDF’s vote share quite comfortably in 2016. They continued to do so this time too. That is the reason why BJP Candidate B B Gopakumar could lock horns and take minuscule leads in some of the rounds. Finally, he turned out to be a runner-up with a margin of 17,206 votes.
Attingal falls under Thiruvananthapuram district and has the same demographic pattern of Kollam. And, the similar result has reflected here too. BJP’s P Sudheer garnered nearly 38,262 votes and became the runner-up with a margin of 31,636 votes.
Yes, O S Ambika from the LDF camp took the major chunk. But, UDF votes seem to be shifting to BJP in this district quite gradually.
Sobha Surendran is the most controversial figure in Keral BJP. Be it her TV interview claiming to invite Muslim league into NDA or making provocative comments against the police she did everything to keep BJP in the limelight.
She ensured BJP gets the similar level of votes which it could get in 2016 too. This means, she is ensuring the party’s consistent growth in the most difficult state to crack.
Kummanam Rajasekaran, the long standing Kerala BJP member contested from this constituency in 2016 and garnered nearly 42,000 votes. Even though, UDF won in 2016, LDF was pushed to the third spot. Similarly, in 2021 BJP fielded another long standing member V V Rajesh who is replicating the similar trend.
He conceded defeat to the LDF candidate V K Prashanth with a margin of 21,515 votes. A little bit of hard work next time could ensure a victory for BJP in this seat.
As we mentioned before, Kummanam Rajasekaran is a long standing BJP member in Kerala. Also, Nemom is one seat which the party had won in 2016 and it did shock everyone. Similarly, to hold back the seat, the saffron party fielded its long standing member to capture this seat again.
While a few rounds did seem favourable, LDF’s Sivankutty took a minuscule lead of 3949 votes and won this seat. UDF’s K Muraleedharan seems to have played the spoiler role here.
Even though BJP did not win a seat, they have churned out a couple of state leaders to take forward their agenda. Their vote share remains intact and they are growing well in a few regions. Therefore, the Saffron party is the one growing in Kerala even though it did not win a seat.
Keep watching this space for more. In our upcoming blog, we will see the three digit victory margins in West Bengal.