Thiruvananthapuran| Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement in Kerala seems to be true that the Bharatiya Janata Party, which won a seat in Kerala in 2016 assembly elections, will not even open its account this time. The ruling party of the Center may not have won the victory, but it fought fiercely in three constituencies. In the 2016 assembly elections, BJP veteran and former Union Minister O. Rajagopal won the Nemom assembly constituency in Thiruvananthapuram district, giving the BJP its first seat in the state.
With the counting of votes on Sunday, the BJP was leading in three seats – Nemom, Palakkad and Thrissur.
In Nemom, former BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan was leading for the last few rounds but was defeated by former CPM MLA V. Sivanakutty, who lost to Rajagopal last time. In the process, Badagara Congress MP K.K. Muralitharan, who was asked to take the responsibility of preventing the BJP from its victory, finished third. Sivanakutty won with a margin of over 5,000 votes.
But in Palakkad, the loss of ‘Metroman’ E. Sreedharan was the biggest. He took the lead sometime after the counting of votes began, but fell behind in the final few rounds and eventually his Congress rival and Youth Congress President Shafi Parambil completed a hat-trick of victories by a margin of 3,840 votes.
Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi, currently a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, also fought hard in Thrissur and was in the lead in no time, but eventually moved him to third place, giving the two traditional rivals some trepidation.
Now, all eyes are on the vote share of the BJP and of course, the head of state has a big role. State BJP President K.K. Surendran fought in two constituencies. He finished second at Manjeshwaram and third at Konni.