With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) all set to return to power with a massive majority, Kerala has turned out to be the only state which gives solace to Congress president Rahul Gandhi who picked Wayanad as his second seat. As per the trends, Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is way ahead in all 20 Lok Sabha seats, leaving both the Left and the BJP struggling to keep pace with the grand old party.
Kerala still remains a distant dream for the ruling BJP, which was hopeful of making inroads into the southern state following the Sabarimala unrest. Kerala, which has witnessed a bipolar polity since its formation, saw a triangular fight for the first time as the BJP emerged as a key player, courtesy the Sabarimala unrest.
The BJP was hopeful of defeating Congress heavyweight Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, where they roped in former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekharan. However, the move failed to turn the tide in their favour. The Congress seems to have gained the maximum out of the Sabarimala showdown as the grand old party too had taken a stand in support of the ‘believers’.
Pathanamthitta, the epicentre of the Sabarimala protests, also did not stand with the saffron party. Had BJP succeeded in turning the wide support it received post the Sabarimala verdict into votes, K Surendran would’ve been the first BJP Lok Sabha member from the state.
Pathanamthitta, where the Lord Ayyappa temple is located and which witnessed volatile protests against the state government’s decision to implement the September 28 verdict permitting women of all age groups into the shrine, recorded 71.39 per cent voting on April 23.
Given that it is a high-stakes battle for all parties, a total of nine sitting MLAs were fielded this time. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has fielded six legislators, while three Congress-led UDF MLAs are in the poll fray.