Ever since a Malayalam news channel has aired a poll survey predicting an upper hand for BJP candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat and a tough triangular fight in Pathanamthitta and Palakkad constituencies, Kerala BJP leaders are worried. They fear the CPIM-led LDF, which is trailing behind the two front-runners, may resort to cross-voting in favour of the Congress candidates to deny BJP Lok Sabha seats from the state.
The recent poll survey by Mathrubhumi news channel has predicted an upper hand for the Congress-led UDF and a near washout for the CPM-led LDF candidates in the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
It also predicted that the BJP candidate and former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasekhan would win Thiruvananthapuram seat and that the BJP would give a tough fight to the incumbent MPs in Pathanamthitta and Palakkad constituencies. BJP camps feel the survey would also result in galvanising minority communities and the LDF-UDF camps to work more steadfastly against BJP candidates in Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta and Palakkad constituencies.
BJP leaders believe LDF and UDF have been resorting to unethical practice as they consider BJP as their “number one enemy”.
The party had attributed the defeat of former Union minister O Rajagopal in Thiruvananthapuram by 15,470 votes in the 2014 polls to such cross-voting by the CPIM. They also allege that CPI-M resorted to cross-voting in favour of Congress candidate K Muralidharan in the 2016 Assembly polls to defeat Kummanam Rajasekharan in Vattiyoorkkavu.
Kerala BJP leaders said the prediction about the party’s victory would lead to minority consolidation and cross-voting by the CPI-M in favour of Congress candidates against their party in Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthiita. To tide over the cross-voting and minority consolidation, the party has evolved counter strategies, as has been done in Nemom. In this connection, CPI-M had alleged that the UDF had transferred votes to Rajgopal in exchange of the BJP votes to defeat their candidate TN Seema in Vattiyoorkkavu segment in the 2016 Assembly polls.
CPI-M has alleged that a deal has already been struck between the Kerala BJP and the Congress to ensure the victory of Kummanam Rajasekharan in Thiruvananthapuram and UDF candidate K Muralidharan in Vatakara.
Meanwhile, it was reported that former Union minister and Congress’s Thiruvananthapuram candidate Shashi Tharoor had sent a complaint to the AICC stating that a section of the party leaders in Thiruvananthapuram was not cooperating with him.
In a report submitted to the party high command, Tharoor apparently said over 23 local committees had either stopped working for him or slowed down their activities. Most of these committees are dominated by workers of the Nair Service Society (NSS), an organization of the upper caste Nair community, which has taken a pro – BJP stance in Thiruvananthapuran and Pathanamthiitta seats in the wake of the Sabarimala protests.
Tharoor has, however, denied having sent any such complaint.
“I challenge them to produce a copy of my alleged letter of complaint, a letter no one has seen, incl ts purported author!” Tharoor posted in a tweet.