On poll eve, candidates visited churches and temples in their constituency.

Even while they all remained extremely confident of winning the public mandate to represent Ernakulam in Lok Sabha, prominent candidates in the coastal constituency spent the eve of polling mainly seeking divine intervention to turn the tide in their favour.

While Congress candidate K.V. Thomas, LDF supported independent candidate Christy Fernandez and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Anita Pratap chose to offer prayer at churches of their choice, BJP candidate A.N. Radhakrishnan visited temples across the constituency.

Four-time MP and Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Mr. Thomas began the day by attending holy mass at Our Lady’s Convent in Njarakkal.

Talking to The Hindu later, Mr Thomas said he already won mandate of the God and the people. After the prayers, he met residents of the convent and recalled his long association with the spiritual movement.

Then Mr. Thomas visited various religious and charity institutions in Mulavukad panchayat, where he began political activism after leaving the teaching job at Thevara College. Then he visited convents at Maradu and Edappally and sought blessings of nuns there. In the afternoon, he visited some old friends in Panampilly Nagar. During lunch break, KPCC office bearers and MLAs under his constituency thronged Mr. Thomas’s house to review the campaign and finalized strategies for monitoring polling on Thursday. Mr Thomas also telephoned many key persons in the constituency urging them to vote for him.

He would vote at Our Lady’s Convent School on Thursday at 9 a.m. after offering prayers at a local church.

On his part, Mr. Christy also offered prayers at the church close to his house in Kaloor on Wednesday morning. Then he spent the day at home in the company of CPI(M) leaders, who arrived to review the campaign and to plug the loopholes. Mr Christy telephoned many key persons and sought their votes. In the afternoon, he went to CPI(M) district committee office and addressed party leaders entrusted with the task of observing booths. Mr. Christy said he would offer prayers at the church in Pottakuzhy before exercising his franchise at Pottakuzhy Little Flower UP School.

BJP candidate A.N. Radhakrishnan began the day on Wednesday at Thuravoor by offering prayers at the temple there. Then he visited Vennala temple. After that, he moved to Paravoor to hold discussions with Viswakarma Community leaders. Then he had free food served at Thripunithura and Njarakkal temples as part of mass feeding. He will visit the family shrine at Edappally on Thursady morning before voting at Cheranallur.

Though AAP candidate Anita Pratap visited the church in Panampilly Nagar, the prayer was more personal than political. “Wednesday was the birthday of my beloved father, who died four years ago. It was he who inspired me to venture into both journalism and politics. So I prayed for him and also used the occasion to seek god’s grace in favour of AAP,’’ she said.

As her vote is in South Delhi, Anita Pratap will use Thursday to visit three key spots of people’s struggle in the constituency. “I wish to make the visit a token of my resolve to stand with the people here unmindful of my winning or losing of the battle. I will continue to be with the people here,” she said.

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