PC George, K Surendran, AN Radhakrishnan | Photo: VK Aji
Kochi: Similar to LDF, the saffron party had also exhibited a massive election campaign for the Thrikkakara bypoll. Though Thrikkakara was not an ‘A plus' constituency, BJP fielded one of the senior state leaders AN Radhakrishnan for the by-election. Even after launching many campaigns under the state president and celebrity leader Suresh Gopi, BJP’s prominent candidate could not even secure the votes obtained by district leader Saji in the last election. With each election, the vote share of the BJP seems to be declining in Thrikkakara.
Reacting to the decline in the vote share of NDA, State president K Surendran pointed out the hostility of the public towards Pinarayi Vijayan as the major reason. People retaliated against the unilateral decisions of the state government and the support it extended to terrorist groups, said K Surendran. It was in order to beat Pinarayi that the voters in Thrikkakara favoured the UDF, added the BJP leader.
NDA had achieved a total vote of over 22,000 in the 2016 election in Thrikkakara. This vote share was reduced to 15,483 votes in 2021 and decreased further to 12,955 votes in this by-election.
Despite the failure, CPM improved its vote share in the bypoll, compared to that of last year. Instead of 45,510 votes gained in 2021, CPM procured a total of 47,752 votes in the 2022 bypoll. Meanwhile, UDF's Uma Thomas captured Thrikkakara constituency with a whopping majority of 25,015 votes which was 13,000 more than the majority garnered by PT Thomas in the last election.
BJP leadership has been puzzled by the results as there was no improvement, but only a dip in its vote share even after supporting PC George in the recent hate speech controversy.