Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala, which has seen only a bipolar polity till date, could possibly witness a triangular electoral verdict this time thanks to the faith vs law fight over Sabarimala.
The entry of young women at the shrine, of course, was the key poll issue in Kerala, carrying the BJP’s hopes in a state which was yet to open its doors to the saffron party.
The News18 Lok Sabha exit poll survey has been conducted by IPSOS, the world’s top international pollster that boasts of a solid track record of predicting electoral outcomes of several elections around the world with accuracy.
The survey predicts 11-13 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats for the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and seven-nine seats for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF). The poll also suggests the BJP might open its account in the state with one seat.
The India Today-Axis poll has given the Congress-led alliance in the state 15-16 seats, while the BJP is expected to win one seat.
According to the Chanakya-News24 poll, the grand old party will win about 16 seats in the state, while the Left Front would win four. The poll has forecast zero seats for the BJP in the state.
The ABP-Nielsen survey said the Congress-led alliance would win 15 seats, followed by one seat for the BJP and two seats for others.
Kerala, which went to polls on April 23, has witnessed a triangular fight among the ruling CPM, Congress and BJP, at least in Pathanamthitta, the epicentre of the Sabarimala protests.
If the BJP succeeds in turning the wide support it received post the Sabarimala verdict into votes, K Surendran will be the first BJP Lok Sabha member from the state.
The ruling CPM, which maintains it was only implementing the Supreme Court order allowing the entry of young women in the temple, believes the BJP winning a single seat in Kerala would mean validation for the massive violence unleashed by Right-wing outfits following the court order.
For the Congress, it has been more of a prestige battle in the state as party chief Rahul Gandhi contested from Wayanad in addition to Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The UDF, which secured 12 seats in 2014, believes Gandhi’s presence would make things easier for the front.
The CPM is battling for survival. Having lost of its citadels, like West Bengal and Tripura, the party is close to losing the status of a national party. Kerala is its last bastion in the country.
Given that it is a high-stake battle for all parties, a total of nine sitting MLAs were fielded this time. The ruling LDF has fielded six of its legislators, while three UDF MLAs were in the poll fray.