Sachin, dont get into old cliches, for this elections have upended a lot of boundaries in Kerala! Need to go deeper into the party sources, for the raw feel, but will post more about my observations later
Here are my assessments based on two constituencies I have traveled a bit this time (Trivandrum and Thrissur). Statewise results:
- BJP voteshare from 2014
was 10.33% overall in Kerala. It did not change much in 2016 State elections
(10.6%). It jumped up to 12.33% this time (wiki links not avaiable yet, but is based on NDTV one)
- Cong voteshare was 31% (2014), 23.8% (2016 State) and a whopping 37.27% for 2019
- Commie voteshare 21.6%(2014), swung up to 26.7% (2016 State) and a rather small dip to 25.83% in 2019
What it means is pretty straightforward: the swing vote this time was majorly the Ayyappas and the major factor for win margins is a record turnout of minorities
1) Ayyappa anger was genuine and influential, its anger needed only one thing to satiate - end of Pinarayi
2) Ayyappa segment wanted nothing but an electoral slap on the face of Pinarayi, and in the beginning, BJP was the prime candidate to deliver that slap, based on my talk with a whole spectrum of Ayyappas. But the final figures above show that BJP state leadership floundered badly (as I kept
for past 10 months), except for Surendran and Suresh Gopi. Surendran is the star who did well, because of his genuineness and Suresh Gopi, because he found the pulse of youth like that other affable candidate, Ramya Haridas, to rope in 2 lacs of voters who otherwise wont vote BJP. Both are case-studies for local BJP. I suspect the Ayyapas wanted to hear how Modi govt is going to help their cause, but they did not hear that other than the bottled-response "Modi is awesome, he will do something"
3) State Congress, the agile operators as ever, was consistent in its opposition to Pinarayi in the matter of Sabarimala. Right from the day, the first ayyappa raised his fist into the sky, they kept the protest against Pinarayi going. Rahul Gandhi made lots of mistakes in Sabarimala, in trying to keep his liberal-chatteratii fans of Khan Market (love that term
) happy. But the state Cong leaders were not budging and was opposing Pinarayi vehemently. Cong leaders like Kannur-winner Sudhakaran and that upcoming Jyothikumar Chammakkala etc even went rogue against Rahul's pronouncements, both on TV and on ground, giving stump speeches against Supreme Court verdict. The Ayyappas do observe such details, when a set of local party leaders are ready to defy national leaders (even if a show) and risking contempt of court. The local BJP on the other hand, led by the buffoonish Sreedharan Pillai bumbled from one blunderous statement to another, while a reported tweet of Amit Shah welcoming the court verdict went viral within hours. Earlier also, someone advised Field Marshal with that ill-fated "Happy Vamana Jayanthi" tweet BS, which again caused havoc
4) As part of regular programming over five years, the minorities were fed a lot of anti-Modi crap, led by commies and of course the Cong. It rose to a crescendo, when just before elections, the scare that Sabarimala issue is going to propel BJP as a major political party, came into play. Some of them would have voted for commies, but then every minority know the commies are as useful as a padre's balls, when going against Modi in Parliament. They voted enmasse for Cong (even the leftie-minorities) and their turnout was in record numbers. Conclusion
: the party with the most agile leaders won
One does not know what Dileep's assessment of Dr Tharoor failing in Trivandrum is based on? If you look at the massive turnout for voting in his bastion assembly segments, it was obvious that his ward managers were able to checkmate any flow of Hindu-left votes to Shree Kumanam. Add to that, the fact that Dr Tharoor is immensely popular among urban voters due to his accessibility and regular visits to Trivandrum temples (which he tweets with metronemical regularity) over past ten years. You need a local candidate with grass roots appeal to up-end him. And after counting we know he did really well in left-BJP areas too. Except for Nemom, which is the sole BJP constituency in assembly.