Pathanamthitta sticks to its UDF leanings, Anto Antony makes it four in a row

The constituency got national attention when BJP air-dropped Anil K Antony, son of Congress veteran A K Antony, in what seemed like a tight three-cornered contest.
UDF candidate Anto Antony’s victory celebrations on Tuesday
UDF candidate Anto Antony’s victory celebrations on Tuesday Photo | Shaji Vettipuram

KOCHI: The election to Pathanamthitta Lok Sabha seat had all the makings of a close fight after CPM announced the candidature of former finance minister T M Thomas Isaac to wrest the seat from three-time MP Anto Antony of the Congress.

The constituency got national attention when BJP air-dropped Anil K Antony, son of Congress veteran A K Antony, in what seemed like a tight three-cornered contest. But, the victory of Anto for the fourth consecutive time, and bettering his 2019 margin, reflected the strong anti-incumbency mood against the Pinarayi-led LDF government in Kerala.

Anto’s margin increased from 44,243 in 2019 to 66,119 in 2024, which is impressive given the fact that there was a decline of over 1 lakh votes polled this time.

Isaac was active in Pathanamthitta after he became the state secretariat member in charge of the district in 2022. He was engaged in various programmes such as organising migration conclave, job scheme for women, among other things. “In the end, as the results showed, he could not withstand the anti-incumbency factor against the Pinarayi government,” said a political observer.

A section of party workers also reckoned Raju Abraham, former CPM MLA from Ranni, would have fared better than Isaac. “In hindsight, anything can be said. But, it’s difficult to predict what could have been,” said a party worker.

Meanwhile, perhaps the biggest letdown for BJP is the performance of Anil Antony. In the build-up to the election, the speculation was that BJP would announce P C George as its candidate. The surprise decision to field Anil, discarding the popular choice of George, also seems to have backfired. The votes garnered by Anil is lower by a whopping 62,990 to 2,34,406 as compared to the votes polled by BJP president K Surendran in 2019 at 2,97,396. BJP’s vote share in Pathanamthitta also fell from 28.95% to 25.49%.

Anti-incumbency helps Anto Antony

Anto Antony (INC): 3,67,623 (39.98%)

T M Thomas Isaac (CPM): 3,01,504 (32.79%)

Anil K Antony (BJP): 2,34,406 (25.49%)

Congress’ Anto Antony rode the anti-incumbency wave against the Left government, overcoming the fact that he was contesting for the fourth time. For CPM’s Isaac, it was an uphill task to emerge victorious amidst the strong emotion against the CPM-led state government. Despite his high-profile entry, BJP’s Anil Antony could not improve on K Surendran’s vote share of 28.95% in 2019 from the constituency

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com