Pathanamthitta: When the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha polls ended, there was no surprise in Pathanamthitta, a constituency that received national media attention in the backdrop of the Sabarimala women entry issue and the following protests.
UDF’s Anto Antony completed a hat-trick of victories in the constituency where NDA had high hopes of becoming a dark horse and causing a major upset.
Created in 2008, Pathanamthitta LS constituency includes Kanjirappally and Poonjar assembly constituencies from Kottayam district besides Thiruvalla, Ranni, Adoor, Aranmula and Konni assembly constituencies in Pathanamthitta district. The constituency has been with UDF ever since the first election in 2009.
In 2009 and 2014, Anto Antony secured lead in all 7 assembly constituencies on his way to victory. But this time around, the constituency discussed the Sabarimala women entry issue rather than the positives and negatives to the state and central governments.
The BJP contested the polls under NDA alliance hoping to open an account in the state for the first time. They fielded state general secretary K Surendran, who was arrested and imprisoned in connection with the Sabarimala protests.
Meanwhile, the LDF fielded Aranmula MLA Veena George and the election became a triangular contest. But despite all the efforts of LDF and NDA, the people chose UDF. Anto Antony secured a lead of around 45,000 votes.
Despite the UDF victory, it must be noted that all three candidates secured over 2.95 lakh votes. The shallow difference in vote share between the trio is a major indicator of the future political scenario.