No need to step down for election defeat, says Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Everyone should seriously examine the factors that gifted a victory to BJP in Thrissur, he says adding instead of advising him to resign, Congress should give the same advice to Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled States where the BJP has made great strides in the Lok Sabha polls

Updated - June 12, 2024 11:02 am IST

Published - June 11, 2024 09:05 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Pinarayi Vijayan (file)

Pinarayi Vijayan (file)

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday swept aside the demand that he should resign shouldering moral responsibility for the Left Democratic Front’s Lok Sabha election loss, but added that “everyone” should seriously examine the factors that gifted a victory to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Thrissur constituency.

Instead of advising him to resign, the Congress should perhaps have given the same advice to the Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled States where the BJP made great strides in the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Vijayan said addressing the Assembly during the discussion on demands for grants in the 2024-25 State Budget.

Mr. Vijayan attributed the victory of the Congress-led United Democratic Front in Kerala to the desire of the voters to see the Narendra Modi government replaced at the Centre. That was natural as the Congress was perceived to be better placed for it. The CPI(M)-led LDF did not see this as an “ultimate defeat”. Besides, past experience showed that voters did not exercise their franchise in the same manner in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, he added.

Armed with statistics on the voting patterns in the Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Vijayan blamed the UDF’s erosion of votes in the Thrissur constituency for BJP candidate Suresh Gopi’s victory.

Across Kerala, the UDF suffered a bigger dip in votes than the LDF, according to him. While the total votes of the LDF dipped by 4,92,000 - from 71.56 lakh votes in 2019 to 66.64 lakh in 2024. On the other hand, UDF votes fell by 6,12,000, from 96.29 lakh votes to 90.17 lakh in 2024. He advised the UDF to examine this reduction.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had led in one Assembly constituency, while the UDF led in 123 and the LDF in 16. In 2024, the BJP was leading in 11 Assembly segments, while the UDF tally slipped to 111. “You won a massive victory, but you should examine this decrease in your votes,” the Chief Minister said.

The BJP victory in Thrissur called for serious examination by the LDF and the UDF. Citing Assembly segment-wise poll statistics, Mr. Vijayan alleged that the UDF suffered massive erosion of votes in the constituency. UDF votes in the constituency fell by 9.8% compared to 2019, Mr. Vijayan said. The voting pattern in Thrissur should be viewed seriously. The UDF should examine the reasons for the setback and how its votes got diverted, he said.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan countered Mr. Vijayan’s arguments saying that he would do well to examine the erosion of CPI(M) votes in the Assembly segments in Kannur in the Lok Sabha polls. In Thrissur too, CPI(M) votes flowed to the BJP, he alleged.

In his speech, the Chief Minister also presented a long list of his government’s sector-wise achievements.

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