Kerala polls: BJP’s new front keeps LDF, UDF guessing

The UDF is counting on the support it enjoys among Christians, Muslims and other minorities but Muslim voters are also being wooed by the CPM, playing on the community’s apprehensions about the rise of the BJP.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: May 16, 2016 10:15 am
kerala, kerala elections, kerala polls, oommen chandy, vs achuthanandan, kerala udf, kerala ldf, kerala election chandy, kerala cpm, kerala congress, kerala news, india news, latest news The UDF is counting on the support it enjoys among Christians, Muslims and other minorities but Muslim voters are also being wooed by the CPM, playing on the community’s apprehensions about the rise of the BJP.

In the seesaw battle for Kerala, it’s fingers crossed for the ruling Congress-led UDF and main rival LDF headed by the CPM. What has queered the pitch for the traditional rivals is the BJP’s new front which has made it a three-way contest in at least two dozen of the 140 assembly constituencies which will vote Monday.

The UDF is counting on the support it enjoys among Christians, Muslims and other minorities but Muslim voters are also being wooed by the CPM, playing on the community’s apprehensions about the rise of the BJP which has been helped by its alliance with the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) of SNDP leader Vellapally Natesan. The BDJS claims to represent the Ezhava community. Earlier, a sizeable share of the Ezhava votes would go the CPM way.

Star contestants include Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, CPM stalwart V S Achutanandan and his party rival Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala Congress (M) leader K M Mani, IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty, Kerala BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan, former Union Minister O Rajagopal and cricketer Sreesanth.

The high-octane campaign saw national leaders — from Narendra Modi to Sonia Gandhi, Nitish Kumar to Sitaram Yechury — flitting in and out of the state to rustle up support for their candidates. Modi’s controversial Kerala-Somalia comparison had the two rival fronts slamming him for hurting Malayalee sentiment, and the hashtag #PoMoneModi took Twitter by storm.

For the Chandy government, the going has not been easy, rocked by a series of scandals and corruption charges. The Congress, hoping to buck the trend of an alliance being unseated every five years, is counting on developmental and welfare initiatives during its rule.

The UDF, Chandy said, is confident of retaining majority. “People of Kerala have accepted the UDF government’s motto of ‘development with care’. Even the Opposition could not point out a single instance of the government not keeping its promise or an issue in which the government did not intervene,” he claimed.

IUML general secretary K P A Majeed said in his party’s assessment, the UDF would get 75 to 80 seats and his own party would improve its tally. “Our focus has been on development and the charity activities of the government. People are fed up with the violent politics of CPM. The anxiety among the minorities about the rise of the BJP will benefit the UDF,” he said.

On the other side of the divide, 93-year-old V S Achutanandan, despite his age and the sweltering heat, stepped out for the LDF. He travelled across the state to drum up support for the party-supported candidates. For the CPM, a win in Kerala is a priority given that the party is now in power only in Tripura.

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    Agnivesh
    May 17, 2016 at 12:58 pm
    For a malayali, even Ram and Krishna are foreigners. Last I checked, Ayodhya was not in Kerala.
    Reply
    1. A
      Agnivesh
      May 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm
      Oru pattam myramarum oru kambumillathe kure ideologikalum. Oh well, atleast it is entertaining...
      Reply
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        Gina
        May 16, 2016 at 4:29 am
        BJP's chances are that is will lose deposit in all the consuencies. BJP using RSS KILLED 110 PEOPLE JUST TO SHOWNITS PRESENCE AND ARRANGED TO BRUTALLY RAPE AND MURDER A DALIT GIRL.
        Reply
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          Lalgulabi
          May 16, 2016 at 3:54 am
          Can you explain what is nonsense in what I have written. You say there arent illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Kerala?.. Read news papers or at least google this subject and you will learn. Dont let your religious affinity obscure your take on national security
          Reply
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            Lalgulabi
            May 16, 2016 at 4:12 am
            I am from Thrissur in Kerala. I know the situation sir...
            Reply
            1. L
              Lalgulabi
              May 16, 2016 at 2:26 am
              UDF and LDF have made Kerala the most sick state infested with illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. They have been allowing large influx of illegal immigrants because these people are from a particular religion and if somehow inducted into voters list will form an enormous vote base. National security is threatened because of this and it is a nightmare for people from states of Kerala and Tamilnadu to travel in trains running between the states
              Reply
            2. L
              Lalgulabi
              May 16, 2016 at 2:29 am
              UDF and LDF have made Kerala the most sick state infested with illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. They have been allowing large influx of illegal immigrants because these people are from a particular religion and if somehow inducted into voters list will form an enormous vote base. National security is threatened because of this and it is a nightmare for people from states of Kerala and Tamilnadu to travel in trains running between the states. The trains are infested with these bangladeshi roaches travelling ticket less but occupying reserved compartments causing lot of distress to natives of these 2 states who travel with proper ticket
              Reply
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                Ramesh rajpurohit
                May 17, 2016 at 2:40 am
                Every child born by Hindu then it's converted into Muslim,Christian,Jain bodh etc Hindu religion is not written by any one it's presence in the univers from beginning of univers so shut your mouth you beggars living onthe money off gulf and western money those who are converted into Muslim, Christian by lalach by bribe you don't have write to talking about Hindu religion you go and look after yourself and your family
                Reply
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