Will BJP be dark horse in Kerala Lok Sabha polls or will it be the Left?

Thiruvananthapuram: Right from Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who is the biggest campaigner for the BJP-led NDA, down to the grass root worker in Kerala, everyone is confident that the Lotus will not only bloom but bloom quite well in the state.

In fact, the BJP is claiming that it will be the dark horse in this Lok Sabha election, when Kerala goes to the polls to elect 20 Lok Sabha members on April 26.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, barring the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, the BJP-led NDA candidates finished a distant third and managed a mere 15.64 per cent vote share.

Even in the Thiruvananthapuram seat where it finished second, the victory margin for flamboyant Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who recorded a hat trick was just a few votes short of a lakh.

On the other hand, the Congress-led UDF which won 19 seats, secured a vote share of 47.48 per cent and the CPI(M)-led Left Front which won just one seat got 36.29 per cent votes collectively through the state.

Likewise in the 2021 Assembly polls in Kerala, the BJP’s vote share went down by 2.60 per cent to reach 12.36 per cent as compared to the 2016 Assembly polls and the party lost the only sitting seat.

Incidentally, if one looks into aspects like minority communities being in excess of 40 per cent in Kerala and both the Congress and the Left increasingly highlighting the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Manipur violence, the BJP’s top leadership’s wishful thinking of the party bagging seats in double digits seems like a pipe dream.

Senior leader and Kerala BJP incharge, Prakash Javadekar who has been in Kerala for most of the last six months, appeared to be more pragmatic when he said the NDA will win more than five seats.

“I have visited many homes across the state and the people to whom I spoke have all said PM Modi is good and many have thanked him for the new schemes that have been launched. But I told them it’s nice to hear that, but thanks alone won’t be enough. You have to vote for PM Modi too,” said Javadekar.

With the campaigning getting into top gear, a deeper analysis into the prospects of the BJP leaves many pondering if Javadekar’s expectations are also a bit exaggerated, as at the moment a clear triangular battle has emerged for sure in Thiruvananthapuram and Trissur.

The battle for the Attingal seat where Union Minister of State, V Muraleedharan, is burning the midnight oil, might turn out to be another triangular fight, so could the one at Palakkad. Hence, statistically things are very clear.

A political analyst on condition of anonymity said though a lot of noise is being generated by the top BJP leadership and an impression is being created that the party will do well, the real dark horse could be the Left.

“The BJP getting a bigger vote share this time would only mean that the Congress’ vote share will be cut. Some voters might shift to the Left also which has a dedicated and solid voter base in Kerala,” said the analyst.


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