Thiruvananthapuram: The by-polls have handed disgusting results for BJP. The party stood third in Vattiyoorkavu where the lotus was expected to bloom once again in the state after Nemom. Despite such hopes, the party has lost more than 23,000 votes from that it polled in the Lok Sabha elections in the constituency.
Though the party could finish with the second place in Manjeshwaram, the gap in vote difference became even wider. The by-poll results may help the party to realise that raking up of Sabarimala issue, protection of believers’ interest and the communal issues will not prove successful. Though the leadership claims a hike in the vote percentage technically, no constituency witnessed a real improvement other than Manjeshwaram.
The vote figures may convince the party that Sabarimala issue cannot be instigated again. Konni and Vattiyoorkavu, which witnessed heated debates around Sabarimala, gave an emphatic mandate to LDF. K. Surendran, who was introduced as a crusader of Sabarimala protest, got lesser votes than that he got in Lok Sabha elections. The party's claim that it got support from religious minorities was proved ungrounded.
The flaw in naming of candidate in Vattiyoorkav and non-cooperation of RSS, among others proved a setback. The party failed to retain support of a few caste organisations and the public who had supported the party earlier. There is also a reading that if Kummanam Rajashekharan had been the BJP candidate, it would have been a different story. The party assesses that it has gained considerable support from the Christian community in Konni. However, a major section who supported the party in Lok Sabha election did not favour this time.
The party did not get BDJS support in Aroor. The low turnout on the polling day, partly due to heavy downpour too, decreased the vote share in Ernakulam. However, the vote share is higher than when Alphons Kannanthanam was a candidate. It is alleged that the Left front switched their votes in favour of UDF in Manjeshwaram. However, the party could clinch second position there.