THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amid the severe drubbing for the BJP in the state, actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi literally turned out to be a real life hero by securing the highest votes (2,93,257) in the history of the BJP in Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency - the third highest in Kerala. Innocent, another actor-turned politician, who fought for his second term from Chalakkudy lost out in the UDF wave.
What makes the achievement of Suresh Gopi exceptional and unique is the high growth the constituency recorded this time when compared with the previous elections. In 2014, the BJP had secured 1,02,681 votes in Thrissur pointing to the fact the growth in this election is about 190 per cent for Suresh Gopi. Suresh Gopi, in his first electoral fight, relied heavily on his charm and charisma throughout the campaign although he is a nominated MP to the Rajya Sabha. More than party votes, he could considerably influence the electorate, especially women, as an actor.
Though Innocent put in his best under the banner of the CPM, he lost out to Benny Behanan of the UDF by a margin of 1,32,274 votes. Innocent was first actor in Kerala who broke the decades-old myth of not being able to get elected to Parliament. He had defeated P C Chacko of the UDF by a margin of 13,884 votes in 2014.