Lok Sabha Election

Election results 2019: Star power fails to make inroads in Kerala

Suresh Gopi.   | Photo Credit: Vipin Chandran

Actor-turned-politician Innocent of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and Suresh Gopi of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) were trailing in the Chalakudy and Thrissur Lok Sabha constituencies respectively, according to the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) data at 12 noon on Thursday.

Mr. Innocent was trailing by 33,880 votes, when 26.37% of votes had been counted in Chalakudy. His rival Benny Behanan, convener of the United Democratic Front (UDF), had won 1.25 lakh votes against the 86,702 earned by Mr. Innocent. The Left candidate had won Chalakudy in 2014 after defeating P.C. Chacko of the Congress by a majority of 13,884 votes.

The actor, who had claimed to have rolled out development projects worth ₹1,750 crore during his tenure as MP, had earned brickbats for not being accessible to the voters. The Opposition camp had also alleged that Mr. Innocent failed to deliver when hundreds of families had to face the wrath of the devastating floods in August.

Star campaigner

Mr. Suresh Gopi, Rajya Sabha member and star campaigner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2016 Assembly election, was trailing at third position in Thrissur when 45.51% votes were counted by noon. T. N. Prathapan of the United Democratic Front (UDF) was leading followed by Rajaji Mathew Thomas of the Left in the constituency.

Mr. Gopi had entered the fray by whipping up religious sentiments after he was alleged to have invoked the name of the Sabarimala deity to garner votes. T. V. Anupama, District Collector of Thrissur, had then submitted a report to the Chief Electoral Officer(CEO) Kerala, Teeka Ram Meena, stating that she had found Mr. Gopi had prima facie violated the model of conduct (MCC) by allegedly using religious motifs to garner votes.

The counting trend indicated that the BJP failed to make inroads despite fielding a star campaigner like Mr. Suresh Gopi in Thrissur. Efforts by Kerala’s tinsel town to woo the electorate by rallying actors and technicians in support of the actor, too, seem to have backfired.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 12:48:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/election-results-2019-star-power-fails-to-make-inroads-in-kerala/article27216307.ece

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