On the eve of the counting for the crucial Aruvikkara bypoll in Kerala, the CPM admitted that BJP has made inroads by dividing the anti-incumbency votes.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the Congress-led United Democratic Front has reaped dividends from the BJP strategy to divide the sentiments against the ruling front. But for a strong BJP candidate (O Rajagopal), Congress would have faced a severe drubbing, said Balakrishnan. The bypoll has gained a triangular touch after BJP fielded its poll veteran O Rajagopal.
Otherwise, it would have been a direct fight between CPM and Congress.
The CPM state secretary’s unexpected comments on the eve of counting of votes have surprised the Left leaders in Kerala. His admission that BJP has gained at the cost of the CPM was seen as a confession that the party was not confident about its candidate’s performance. Senior CPI leader C Divakaran said he could not agree with Balakrishnan’s observations and said he believed that CPM candidate M Vijayakumar would win.
The bypoll is seen very crucial for the CPM in Kerala. The party could not stage a comeback in electoral politics since 2006 when it had won the state assembly elections.
At Aruvikkara bypoll, polit buro member Pinarayi Vijayan has been moving the party machinery at the grassroots level. During the campaigning period, Vijayan confined to managing the campaign machinery.
On the other hand, his rival V S Achuthanadan was the most popular campaigner.
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