Kerala

Frustrating defeat for Kerala BJP president in Konni once again

K.Surendran  

Led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several top leaders campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Konni that witnessed major shakeup in electoral dynamics post the Sabarimala protests of 2018.

That, however, was not enough for the BJP State president K.Surendran to break the jinx of a consecutive electoral defeat here.

As the results of the assembly election was announced, Mr. Surendran was once again relegated to the third position even as the sitting legislator and CPI(M) leader K.U.Janeesh Kumar consolidated his position by margin of victory to 8,058 votes. The presence of Mr. Surendran, who was handpicked by the BJP national leadership, in the fray and the high- flying election campaign that it had unleashed here, catapulted the assembly election in Konni to the status of a keenly watched contest.

Expectations were high from Mr.Surendran, who had bagged 46,506 votes in the Parliament elections of 2019 and also emerged as a strong contender in the bypolls that followed . The BJP leader, however, appears to have done in by the pressure of contesting in two seats simultaneously and failed to consolidate the party’s gains in the region over the years.

Of the total votes polled, the LDF candidate bagged 62,318 while the UDF candidate Robin Peter improved on the coalition's previous performance of 44,146 votes by bagging 53,810 votes. The total votes bagged by Mr.Surendran, meanwhile, fell from 39,786 in 2019 to 32,811 this time.

A seat that alternated between the United Democratic Front and the Left Democratic Front, Konni has always stood as a safe bet for Adoor Prakash, a Congress stalwart, since 1996. Its electoral dynamics, however, went for a major shake-up in the aftermath of the Sabarimala protests in 2018.

In the Parliament elections of 2019, the BJP made significant gains from the segment though it was the Congress that held a lead of 2,721 votes. In the byelections that followed, Konni witnessed a close three-cornered fight with the BJP consolidating its gains in the Parliament elections. But it was the LDF, which finally emerged the winner, also completing a clean sweep of the Pathanamthitta district in the process.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 2:25:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/kerala-assembly/frustrating-defeat-for-bjp-state-president-in-konni-once-again/article34467183.ece

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