It’s official, the saffron wave has evaded Kerala this time. UDF candidate and Congress leader Shafi Parambil has scored a hat trick win from the Palakkad assembly constituency. Shafi, who defeated CPM’s KK Divakaran in 2011 and BJP’s Shobha Surendran in 2016, defeated NDA candidate, E Sreedharan, who is better known as Metro Man, by 3,840 votes. According to political experts, Sreedharan’s comment on his aversion towards beef eaters and that Love Jihad is a reality, could be reason why the man, who was famous for spearheading the construction of Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro, lost votes.
It’s a resounding loss and a loss of face for state BJP President K Surendran, who lost both the seats he contested in -Konni and Manjeshwaram. The state BJP president before the assembly elections in Kerala had claimed “We will win 35 seats and form government in Kerala.” This is not the first time Surendran is losing in Manjeswar. He lost to P B Abdul Rasaq of the UDF candidate by 89 votes in the last assembly polls. According to political analysts, Surendran could have lost because he contested in two constituencies. Also there was strong criticism against hiring of helicopters to campaign in both constituencies.
Meanwhile, BJP has also failed to retain power in Nemom, which was their sitting seat. Although BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan was leading from Nemom in the initial hours of counting, he was pushed to third place by LDF candidate V Sivankutty, who won the Nemom seat with a margin of 2025 seats. And while actor-politician Suresh Gopi did take the lead in Thrissur, he was pushed to third places as LDF candidate P Balachandran won by a margin of 1000 votes.
Meanwhile, as LDF widens its lead in the State, congratulatory notes have started pouring in. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, addressing Pinarati Vijayan, wrote, “People of Kerala have reposed faith in you becoz of ur pro-people governance (SIC)”
Former CPM Secretary General Prakash Karat said, “In the past 40 years no government has been re-elected for a second successive term and this is a significant mandate by the people which shows that people of Kerala appreciated the work of the Pinarayi government – the way it tackled the floods, Covid pandemic and its pro-people development in the state.”
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted “My congratulations to @CMOKerala @vijayanPinarayi for his remarkable re-election, a first in 44 years. It is our duty to respect the confidence the people have shown in him & his government. In the fight against #Covid & communalism, he should have our support.”