UDF tide ebbs in Thrissur, Alathur

Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan told TNIE that a sympathy wave worked in favour of Suresh Gopi, as he was defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections.
A Congress worker kisses the party flag while celebrating the party’s election victory in Kochi on Tuesday
A Congress worker kisses the party flag while celebrating the party’s election victory in Kochi on Tuesday Photo | T P Sooraj

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The political narrative of anti-incumbency set by the Congress and UDF leadership has served them well this general elections. But the loss of Thrissur and Alathur saw the front settle for 18 seats, one less than what they achieved five years ago.

Taking a bit of sheen off the claims of a UDF wave, though, is the dismal failure of senior Congress leader K Muraleedharan in Thrissur, that too being relegated to the third position.Particularly concerning is that the setback happened when the latest LS elections saw the UDF camp working unitedly.

While the NDA government froze the Congress’s bank accounts ahead of the polls, the party leadership ensured it did not affect candidates’ prospects, even as the AICC leadership aimed for a clean sweep to garner maximum seats for the INDIA bloc. If Thrissur also saw a Christian consolidation in favour of BJP’s Suresh Gopi, local party workers were peeved with the highhandedness of Ramya Haridas in Alathur.

Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan told TNIE that a sympathy wave worked in favour of Suresh Gopi, as he was defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections.

“Suresh Gopi had camped in Thrissur for five years and gained a foothold there. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Thrissur thrice also evoked favourable sentiments among the voters. Suresh Gopi’s gesture of offering a crown to the church too proved crucial. Also, a large majority of CPM votes went in favour of the BJP and CPI’s V S Sunil Kumar garnered the minority votes from the coastal areas,” Satheesan said.

A Congress worker kisses the party flag while celebrating the party’s election victory in Kochi on Tuesday
Will win Thiruvananthapuram by 15k votes, Thrissur by 30k: BJP report

The irony is that when the minority vote consolidation across the state benefited the UDF, that was hardly the case in Thrissur. The UDF camp was expecting Muraleedharan to win by a margin of at least 2,000-5,000 votes.

In Alathur, the BJP polled 1.88 lakh votes, which caught the Congress leadership unawares. And the clean image of CPM candidate K Radhakrishnan stood him in good stead. The Congress was expecting a victory margin of 30,000 votes for Ramya after the issues between the incumbent MP and local party workers were resolved.

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