Thiruvananthapuram, April 4(BPNS)
State BJP which is fighting a do or die battle is expecting a few surprises in this polls. While there are high profile campaigns for Metro Man, E Sreedharan who is contesting from Palakkad, State president K Surendran at Manjeshwaram and Konni, Kummanam Rajashekharan at Nemom and Super star turned actor Suresh Gopi at Thrissur, the BJP may spring a surprise in two constituencies.
While the party is facing a stiff fight at its lone sitting seat, Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram with former state president Kummanam Rajashekharan sweating out, the emergence of Kattakada and Kazhakootam in Thiruvananthapuram district is giving a sigh of relief for the BJP cadres and leaders alike.
Former National secretary of BJP, PK Krishnadas who is considered as the soft face of the state BJP is contesting from Kattadaka where the CPM candidate IB Satheesh had won the seat by 849 votes in a tight fight against N Sakthan of the Congress party. PK Krishnadas was third trailing by 12000 votes to the winner. However in the 2019 general elections, the BJP improved its tally by around 4300 votes and in the local body polls of 2020 December it improved the tally.
The candidature of Malayankeezhu Venugopal for Congress has changed the community equations of the constituency as there were allegations levelled against him for plotting the defeat of N Sakthan in the 2016 assembly elections. Sakthan being a Nadar Christian, and with the community having 25 percent of the vote share, there are possibilities of a response to the defeat of Sakthan in the constituency and may settle scores with Venugopal.
Rajesh Chandran, Political analyst and former journalist while speaking to IANS said, “The fight is between BJP and CPM and if a certain percentage of Congress votes fall in the kitty of Krishnadas he could probably win by a slender margin. This is a low profile seat and BJP candidate even though being former state president and former National secretary is a low profile person and acceptable to the constituency and the anti-incumbency factor is working out against CPM leader IB Satheesh.”
Similarly in a tight three cornered fight at Kazhakootam, the state minister for dewaswoms and tourism, Kadakampally Surendran is sweating it out against BJP state vice president, Sobha Surendran, the firebrand woman leader of BJP. The Congress candidate Dr SS Lal is a medical doctor who had served the World Health Organisation(WHO). BJP and its candidate have raked up the Sabarimala issue and the entry of women into the hill shrine as a threat to the Hindu community and with Kadakampallly Surendran being the minister in charge of Sabarimala temple, all the shots are fired against him.
Kadakampally had to even openly apologise for the “mishap” that happened at Sabarimala temple. Kerala elections is revolving around Sabarimala after former Chief minister Oomen Chandy brought the issue to the forefront and CPM is on the defensive. Shobha Surendran is in a high voltage campaign against CPM and Congress and the fight again has turned into one between CPM and BJP.
Union minister of state for external affairs, V Muraleedharan was the BJP candidate at Kazhakootam in the last assembly elections and had come second loosing by a margin of 7347 votes and the BJP vote share had risen by 25.04 percent. The BJP’s tally in the loksabha polls have also raised considerably and the vote share has touched 45479 votes.
BJP is exactly expecting on this hike in vote share and Shobha Surendran may upset the apple cart of the CPM candidate and sitting minister Kadakampally Surendran. It is to be noted that Shobha Surendran has garnered 2,48,801 votes when she contested as BJP candidate from Attingal loksabha constituency in the 2019 general elections. In 2014 BJP candidate Girijakumari .S could get only 90,528 votes.
These two seats seems to be the most probable seats for the BJP in the April 6 assembly elections.