Promising Signs For BJP Before Kerala Assembly Elections — Leads In 11, Second In 9 And A Close Third In 10 Seats

S Rajesh

Jun 12, 2024, 02:03 PM | Updated 01:51 PM IST

The BJP is now expected to give a tough fight in about 30 assembly seats.
The BJP is now expected to give a tough fight in about 30 assembly seats.
  • The BJP in Kerala is set to transition from an ideological opposition to one with significant elected representation.
  • While Suresh Gopi’s victory in Thrissur, along with the narrow losses in Thiruvananthapuram and Attingal, and the rise in the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) vote share have garnered much attention, there is more happening in Kerala that gives hope to the BJP, which has faced significant losses in the north.

    The BJP led in 11 assembly constituencies, secured the second position in seven and finished a close third in 10 as per the results of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

    Most Leads In Thrissur, Followed By Thiruvananthapuram And Attingal

    The seats in which the party led are located in the Thiruvananthapuram, Attingal and Thrissur Lok Sabha constituencies.

    In Thiruvananthapuram, the party led in Kazhakootam, Vattiyoorkavu and Nemom. These are three of the four urban seats (with Thiruvananthapuram being the other) in the constituency and Rajeev Chandrasekhar was expected to do well here by BJP members. Nemom has been won by the party’s veteran leader O Rajagopal in 2016.

    Attingal, where V Muraleedharan lost by around 16,000 votes, in what was a very close battle (the UDF candidate, Adoor Prakash of the Congress, won by only 684 votes), saw the party take the lead in the eponymous Attingal and Kattakkada segments.

    In Thrissur, the number of leads was even better than that of Thiruvananthapuram and Attingal. The party led in six segments — Manalur, Ollur, Thrissur, Nattika, Irinjalakuda and Puthukkad. Of these the lead in Ollur is significant, given that the seat has mostly had a Christian MLA from the Congress or someone from the Left.

    Second In Nine

    Of the nine seats — Manjeshwar, Kasaragod, Palakkad, Haripad, Kayamkulam, Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kovalam and Neyyattinkara,  in which the party came second, Manjeshwar, which is a part of the Kasaragod constituency, is a seat that the party had come close to winning.

    K Surendran lost the seat by 89 votes in 2016 and 745 votes in 2021. Kovalam and Neyyattinkara are two of the rural seats in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency.

    Haripad and Kayamkulam are parts of Alappuzha Lok Sabha constituency, where the party improved its vote share massively from around 17 per cent to over 28 per cent.

    Varkala is a part of the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency.

    A Close Third In 10 Seats

    The seats where the party finished a close third, are Malampuzha in Palakkad (it received 828 votes less than the second placed UDF), Ambalappuzha and Karunagapalli in Alappuzha, (where the difference with the second placed LDF was less than 200 votes), Guruvayur in Thrissur, Ranni and Konni in Pathanamthitta, Chathanoor in Kollam, Chirayinkeezhu, Nedumangad and Vamanapuram in Attingal, and Parassala in Thiruvananthapuram (behind the second placed LDF by 697 votes).

    The figure for Parassala is significant as it is considered to be the toughest among all seats in Thiruvananthapuram for the BJP.

    Almost 30 Seats To See Three-Cornered Fights In 2026

    Considering all of these, the party has really come a long way in the state from the days when it did not have an MP or MLA and it was said that the state dominated by the Congress and the Left would not support the political philosophy of the BJP. 

    It now looks like that we are sure to see a three-cornered fight in almost 30 constituencies in 2026, and the BJP could end up winning some of them.

    The approach the party is likely to take from now on in order to convert a good number of these close finishes to victories is to concentrate deeply on each seat.

    For that it can take a leaf out of the book of Suresh Gopi. In spite of losing from Thrissur in 2019 and once again in the assembly elections in 2021, he visited the constituency regularly, interacted with the people, took up their issues such as the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank scam and thus won their trust.

    Rajeev Chandrasekhar has planned the same in Thiruvananthapuram. Though he could not win the seat, he has already declared that he would work for its people and that he has a 100-day agenda in place.

    The base has thus been firmly set for the BJP to go from being merely an ideological opposition to an opposition with a good number of elected representatives.

    S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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