BJP improves position in Kerala

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi published on November 10, 2009

One of the significant aspects of the outcome of the by-polls in the three Assembly constituencies of Kerala is the brilliant achievement of the BJP candidates. In all the three seats, the party candidates improved the scores in comparison with those of the 2006 Assembly elections, giving a new energy to the organization and satisfaction to the State leadership.

State Mahila Morcha president Sobha Surendran, a fiery orator and an efficient organizer, was indeed the brightest among the three. She improved the party’s vote kitty in Ernakulam to 7,208 from what Nedumbassery Ravi had polled in 2006 election: 4,902 votes.

Sobha’s achievement was not just in the numbers. The party’s vote-share in Ernakulam went up from 5.65 in 2006 to 7.80 in this by-poll. The party also led in one booth while it claimed second position in two in the constituency. It was the systematic and coherent campaign techniques that had done the trick in Ernakulam, even critics admitted.

“It is indeed heartening to see that the people have responded well to the BJP’s call. It is not a small achievement in a state like Kerala when one considers the fact that we did not have Central or State ministers to lead our campaign or the money or the muscle power the LDF and UDF had enjoyed,” said Sobha surendran.

She said that the victory of Congress’s Dominic Presentation in Ernakulam could not be accepted as a democratic achievement as he had scored it with religious and extremist votes. “Even on the day of polling, he had announced that he had the support of the Christian Church while the the UDF had taken the support of the Islamist force, NDF,” she said. Sobha had petitioned the Election Commission against Presentation for violation of model code of election conduct.

Those who had been eager to project the BJP as a loser in Alappuzha constituency in the light of the performance in 2006 of party candidate Parayil Radhakrishnan, who polled merely, 1,118 votes, were proved wrong this time when local BJP leader K Babu bagged 2,247 votes. The vote-share of the party here also rose from 1.32 percent in 2006 to 2.62 this time.

A similar achievement for the party was seen in Kannur also, where BJP candidate K Ranjith bagged 5,665 votes (5.34 percent), up from 4,519 (4.64 percent) polled by Bhagyaseelan Chalad in 2006. Ironically, the CPI(M) had wanted the BJP to bag as many votes as they could this time as the general theory was that the gain of BJP was the loss of the Congress. But this did not help the Marxists.

State BJP president PK Krishnadas, who could now go out from the position with the satisfaction that he had finally been able to get out of the vortex of allegations of inefficiency in controlling the vote-leaks, said the performance of the party was an indicator of the people’s wish to have as an alternative force in the State politics riddled by the CPI(M)-led LDF and the Congress-led UDF. He also alleged that both the main fronts had received the assistance of caste and religious votes in a big way.

According to State party vice-president V Muraleedharan, one of the hot favourites to the post of president when Krishnadas vacated the position, the party had through systematic electioneering had managed to make good achievement. The improvement in performance was sure to give confidence for the party workers and leaders to face the civic polls due in the State in September next and the Assembly elections of 2001.

State BJP general secretary AN Radhakrishnan said that the achievement of the party candidates was not at all small when the profile of the UDF and LDF campaigners were taken into consideration. “The two main fronts had faced the by-elections with all their might, which included the State and Union ministers, official machinery and all the factors associated with power. The BJP had nothing to match such extravagance and we still managed to improve our position,” he pointed out.

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