Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement in Kerala seems to be true that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which won a seat in Kerala in the 2016 assembly elections, will not even open its account this time. The ruling party at the center may have fought hard in three constituencies, but could not ensure its victory.
Earlier in the 2016 assembly elections, BJP leader and former Union Minister O. Rajagopal won in Nemom Assembly constituency of Thiruvananthapuram district, giving BJP a seat for the first time in the state. With the counting of votes on Sunday, the BJP was leading in three seats – Nemom, Palakkad and Thrissur. But as the day progressed, the BJP candidates went backward and were ultimately defeated.
In Nemom, former BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan was leading for the last few rounds, but was defeated by former CPM MLA V. Sivanakutty, who lost to Rajagopal last time. In the process, Badagara Congress MP K.K. Muralitharan finished third. Sivanakutty won with a margin of over 5,000 votes.
But in Palakkad, the loss of ‘Metroman’ E. Sreedharan was the biggest. He took the lead sometime after the counting of votes began, but fell behind in the final few rounds and eventually his Congress rival and Youth Congress President Shafi Parambil completed a hat-trick of victories by a margin of 3,840 votes.
Similarly, Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi, currently a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, fought hard in Thrissur and was short-lived, but in the end, the two trailed behind the traditional rivals. State BJP President K.K. Surendran fought from two constituencies. But he finished second in Manjeswaram and third in Konni. Now, everyone’s eyes are on the BJP’s vote share.