Elections 2021

Kerala voters deliver a shocker to three major fronts

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on April 07, 2021

Final numbers just fail to add up

 

Voters in Kerala appeared to deliver a shocker to all three political fronts in the State in the single-phase elections held on Tuesday by turning up in much fewer numbers (74.02 per cent of total electorate) than surmised from their enthusiastic response marked by long queues at most stations earlier in the day.

The only consolation is that the more than 3.5 lakh postal votes polled separately, combined with those of the polling officials, might help the final figure, expected later on Wednesday, touch the 77-per cent mark to be on a par with the 77.10 per cent of 2016 Assembly or 77.35 per cent in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Kerala fails to sustain early vigour, may equal 2016 tally

Tight contest in 40 seats

This is despite the fact that at least 40 out of the 140 Assembly constituencies saw an intensely fierce fight fuelled to the hilt even into the polling day by the Sabarimala issue that had caught the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) by surprise, forcing Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to respond.

His remarks that gods of the land are on the same page as the LDF in as much as how it had taken care of the people during trying times were as revealing, if not entirely unexpected, as those of G Sukumaran Nair, General Secretary of the influential Nair Service Society (NSS), who had triggered the chatter in the first place.

Kerala votes with a vengeance, logs 59.91 per cent polling by 3.40 pm

It quickly found traction with the rest of the political leaders even as voting progressed into the initial hours marked by a focus and intensity of an order not witnessed in the past. This gave rise to varying interpretations of whether voters were responding in kind to the ‘intentional’ Sabarimala-related bytes from politicians.

Voting trend falters

But things changed post-noon with the intensity of polling gradually weakening, which never really recovered even into the final hours, again a break from the past. Inclement weather and isolated incidents of violence have been variously blamed for the voter apathy.

State BJP President K Surendran, who fought from Manjeswar and Konni seats, said he was sure of victory from both. He also said that the resurgence of the BJP-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) may lead to a hung House, with this third front likely acquiring a crucial say in deciding the next government.

 

Mullappally Ramachandran, President of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said that the United Democratic Front (UDF) that his party leads is assured of victory. He said that he has reasons to apprehend an LDF-NDA match fixing in Manjeswar in favour of the BJP candidate there.

‘Match fixing’ alleged

This seat in Kasaragod which BJP President Surendran had lost by merely 89 votes in 2016 stands out for polling record votes five years later. Manjeswar had polled 76.19 per cent in 2016 which has improved to 76.81 per cent this year. This is not the case in most other seats where the BJP is a strong contestant.

The BJP’s other big bets are thought to be concentrated in Thiruvananthapuram district headed by Nemom (Kummanam Rajasekharan) but the polling recorded here is 69.8 per cent (74.11 per cent). At Kazhakoottam (Sobha Surendran), the figure came in marginally lower at 69.63 per cent (73.46 per cent); but at suburban Kattakkada (KP Krishnadas), it was better at 72.21 per cent (76.57 per cent).

Published on April 07, 2021

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