Blistering two-month campaign comes to a close in Kerala


Three-way poll battles in the real sense will be witnessed in Thiruvananthapuram, Trissur, Attingal and even in Alappuzha and Palakkad…reports Asian Lite News

With just one day left for the electorate to cast their votes, the over two-month-long blistering Lok Sabha poll campaign in Kerala comes to a close on Wednesday evening.

Kerala goes to the polls on Friday to elect 20 new Lok Sabha members.

In the 2019 polls the Congress-led UDF which won 19 seats secured a vote share of 47.48 per cent, the CPI(M)-led Left Front which bagged just one seat got 36.29 per cent votes and the BJP managed a mere 15.64 per cent vote share.

Thursday will be a day for silent campaigning by all the candidates making the one last call which they think will turn the tide towards them.

Wednesday saw all the candidates and their workers trying to reach as many places as possible and each and every candidate from the three political fronts was heard claiming that they were “winning” and thanking the voters for hearing them out.

With campaigning now coming to a close, calculators are out and the calculations have begun.

Even though there are three main political fronts, one thing that has emerged is there is not going to be a tough triangular contest in all the 20 seats.

Three-way poll battles in the real sense will be witnessed in Thiruvananthapuram, Trissur, Attingal and even in Alappuzha and Palakkad.

In the remaining 15 constituencies it is a straight fight between the traditional rivals and the only question that requires an answer is who will stand to gain if the BJP gets more votes in these constituencies.

This time things might be different and the general norm that if the BJP gets more votes it will benefit the Left, might not hold good.

This is visible at Kottayam, Idukki, and Chalakudy and it is good news for the UDF.

While in seats at Kasargod, Kannur, Mavelikera, Vadakara, Kozhikode and Alathur, the battle has turned out to be a very close one between the Left and the UDF but in seats like Kollam, Ernakulam, Ponnani, Malappuram, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Wayanad, the UDF has a clear edge.

A political analyst on condition of anonymity pointed out that the campaign has been very intense and hence in constituencies where there is a tight fight, a minor swing to any one side can see either the Left or the UDF scrape through.

“The votes of minority communities have also become crucial and could well decide who the winner is,” said the analyst.

Airborne on adjacent cranes on the final day of poll campaigning for the second phase of Lok Sabha elections, Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor and BJP’s Rajeev Chandrasekhar who are in the fray from Thiruvananthapuram parliamentary constituency wrapped up their poll campaigning on Wednesday.

Both candidates were seen waving to the crowds at Peroorkada atop cranes adorned with their respective party flags.

Thousands of workers of the UDF, LDF, and NDA started gathering in the tiny town in the afternoon.

Shashi Tharoor, accompanied by Achu Oommen, daughter of former CM Oomen Chandy, climbed atop a crane first. On the other hand, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Chandrasekhar along with BJP district president VV Rajesh, too was seen on an adjacent crane.

With two popular faces taking on each other, the Thiruvananthapuram seat in Kerala has hogged the spotlight again ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. BJP has fielded Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar against incumbent Congress’ Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram.

Tharoor, who has held the seat since 2009, is facing a challenge as the BJP has named a strong face against him. Chandrashekhar has served as the MoS for Electronics, Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

Chandrashekhar has put up his vision document for Kerala’s capital city and has said that it will speed up the development of the constituency and will cover every segment of society. He also said that Tharoor and former Raveendran have done nothing for Thiruvananthapuram.

He has also said the constituency has been deprived of development for the last 15-20 years and people here are “craving” for jobs and development.

Chandrashekhar also said that the Muslim and Christian communities in the state are made “fearful” of the BJP through a “false narrative”.

Tharoor on the other hand, said that BJP’s message is “not well received” in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and the party has very little hope from southern India.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul, has however cautioned all the political parties to strictly adhere to the code of conduct.

During the last 48 hours, only silent campaigning is permissible, and any gathering of people or organizing of public meetings will be dealt with under Criminal Procedure Code Section 144, said the official.

The use of loudspeakers and organizing of rallies and processions are prohibited. No kind of performance (like cinema, television shows, advertisements, music events, dramas, and other similar displays, opinion polls, poll surveys, and exit polls) that could influence the election outcome is allowed.

Violators could face imprisonment, fines, or both. Exit polls are prohibited until half an hour after the last phase of voting is completed.

Police and enforcement agencies will continue stringent checks to prevent illegal activities.

Actions like the illegal transfer of money, offering freebies and gifts, and distribution of alcohol, if found, will lead to severe legal action. A dry day has been declared for the 48 hours until the completion of voting, banning the distribution and sale of alcohol.

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