Kerala , May 23, 2019 : The Congress-led UDF is sweeping Kerala at the moment, leading in all 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad venture is going smoothly, all the more important with Gandhi trailing against Union minister Smriti Irani from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
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With the UDF leading in all 20 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP’s has lost early leads in Pathanamthitta, the ground zero of of the Sabarimala temple protests that saw massive protests over entry of young women at the shrine. The BJP had fielded K Surendran here.
Pathanamthitta has an estimated Scheduled Caste population of 12.3% and a Scheduled Tribe population of 1.02%. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Anto Antony of the Congress won in this seat.
Congress heavyweight Shashi Tharoor is leading in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat after a few minutes of trailing against BJP’s Rajashekar Kummanam. In 2014 general too, Tharoor was trailing against BJP’s O Rajagopal in the early hours of counting.
Earlier Tharoor had earlier tweeted, “D-Day at last! Will it be D for Deliverance for the nation from 5 years of misgovernance, ineptitude & bigotry, or D for Disappointment & Despair for all who who believe in #InclusiveIndia, responsible governance, liberal social values & economic justice”
Kummanam Rajasekharan, BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, has offered prayers at Ayyaguru Ashram in Thycaud. Post prayers, he said, “For development of the state and welfare of its people, I think Kerala should move along with the National Democratic Alliance government in Delhi. Now that Kerala is coming up in mainstream, I am very much confident that I’ll win in this election.”
Kerala witnessed a three-cornered fight between the BJP, Congress and CPM at least in Pathanamthitta, the epicentre of the Sabarimala protests. If BJP succeeds in turning the wide support it received post the Sabarimala verdict into votes, K Surendran will be the first BJP Lok Sabha member from the state.
The CPM is battling for survival. The party is close to losing the status of a national party, no longer a player in former citadels like Tripura and west Bengal. Kerala is its last bastion in the country.
Given that it is a high-stake battle for all parties, a total of nine sitting MLAs were fielded this time. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has fielded six legislators, while three Congress-led UDF MLAs are in the poll fray.
Pathanamthitta, where the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple is located and witnessed to volatile protests against the state government’s decision to implement the September 28 verdict permitting women of all age groups into the shrine, recorded 71.39 per cent voting on April 23.
For the first time ever, repolling was held in Kannur and Kasargode Lok Sabha seats after it was ordered by the state’s Chief Electoral Officer following complaints of bogus voting which was later verified.
Kerala had voted on April 23 to elect 20 Lok Sabha candidates. A few days later, there were visuals of people casting votes more than once was identified, prompting CEO Teeka Ram Meena to order the re-polls. Cases have been registered against the Communist Party of India-Marxist and Indian Union Muslim League workers, after identifying their members of voting more than once.