Thiruvananthapuram, May 2, 2021-
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had won one seat in Kerala in the 2016 Assembly polls, would see its account getting closed this time, has come true with the Centre’s ruling party failing to secure any victory despite fighting hard in three constituencies.
In the 2016 Assembly polls, veteran BJP leader and former Union Minister O. Rajagopal had won the Nemom Assembly constituency in the Thiruvanthapuram district, getting the BJP its first-ever seat in the state.
As counting started on Sunday, the BJP was leading in three seats – Nemom, Palakkad and Thrissur.
At Nemom, former BJP state President Kummanam Rajasekheran was maintaining a lead till the last few rounds when former CPI-M legislator V.Sivankutty, who lost to Rajagopal the last time, breezed past him. In the process, Congress MP from Badagara K. Muraleedharan, who was asked to take on the responsibility to prevent the BJP repeating its victory, came a poor third.
Sivankutty won with a margin of over 5,000 votes.
But the major upset was the loss of ‘Metroman’ E. Sreedharan in Palakkad. Leading right from the time counting started, he, however, lost steam in the last few rounds and eventually his Congress rival and Youth Congress President Shafi Parambil completed a hat trick of wins by a margin of 3,840 votes.
Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi, presently a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, also fought hard at Thrissur and at a few times, was leading, but at the end he had to settle in the third place after giving both the traditional rivals a few frights.
Now, all eyes are on the vote share of the BJP and certainly heads are expected to roll as its state President K.Surendran had to bite the dust in two constituencies where he contested – he came second at Manjeswaram and third in Konni. (Agency)
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