A confidential report published by two central agencies has noted that Kerala Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has the support of about 39 per cent of people. The reports are part of a tradition of analysing people’s support for leaders during assembly election, and the information was published in a weekly report filed last week. The report, which claims that the UDF will win with a small majority, claims that the BJP is likely to spread to two locations — Chathanoor in Kollam and Mancheshwaram in Kasargod.
The people remember Ramesh for his interventions for the protection of the public treasury and public property. Ramesh was the mastermind behind the opposition’s entire offensive stance against the government’s corruptions — from the controversy over Jayarajan’s resignation in the appointment of a relative to the suspicion behind Adani’s power deal. The Haripad MLA is one of the most sought after leaders in Kerala politics in the last five years.
Ramesh, a former Home Minister, had come out strongly against the killing of Maoists in questionable encounters since the LDF government came to power. The Opposition Leader was also ready to fight for Alan Shuhaib and Thwaha Fazal when they were unfairly charged with UAPA, and this set him apart from other Congress leaders.
From Sprinklr to double vote, the media took up issues brought out by Ramesh Chennithala against the Pinarayi government. The Chief Minister and the LDF alleged that all the major media outlets were working for the opposition but the central agencies are rejecting the predictions made by the same media against the UDF and Ramesh in the pre-poll surveys. Earlier, Ramesh was publicly portrayed by media channels as a leader with less than 10 per cent popular support for the Chief Minister’s post. The Congress leader said that some media outlets were trying to discredit him and that the polls were not valid.
A matter of concern is that the central agencies’ reports predict that BJP will get two seats — especially in constituencies with CPI influence. The left party enjoys a clear dominance in Chathanoor and they have won there nine times since 1965. However, in 2016, BJP was able to be second in Chathanoor despite the left being strong there. This is another indication of the fact that the left is unable to fight the oncoming BJP growth.
On the last two occasions, CPI’s GS Jayalal had won — defeating Bindu Krishna in 2011 and Sooranad Rajasekhara in 2016. Chathanoor is the only constituency in the district where the BJP came second in the 2016 assembly elections. This time the BJP has gained votes here. The BJP had won the Kalluvathukal panchayat in the local body elections.