KERALA

BJP vote share drops

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DEC. 4. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suffered marginal erosion in its vote share in the by-poll in Thiruvalla compared to the election in 2001.

Though its votes increased numerically, the share in votes as a percentage of total votes polled dropped by 0.31 per cent. This was despite it having fielded a stronger contestant this time round.

The drop should worry its ally, the Indian Federal Democratic Party (IFDP) led by P.C. Thomas, more than the BJP as the result suggests that the IFDP could hardly canvass any votes for the BJP. Mr. Thomas could not win over the supporters of the Kerala Congress (Mani), to which he originally belonged, in significant numbers.

The BJP was expecting to poll at least 9,000 votes this time as against 7,400 polled in 2001. However, it had to be content with 7,684 votes. This constitutes only 8.72 per cent of the votes polled as against 9.03 per cent in the 2001 election.

The BJP State president, P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, maintained that it was an achievement for the BJP to have won more votes despite the tricks played by the UDF to confuse and influence its workers. The results showed that the UDF could not hijack BJP votes. This would help the BJP to fight future elections with more confidence, he said.

He said the victory of the BJP in other States would lead to changes beneficial to the BJP in Kerala also.

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