Undercurrents to play crucial role in Kerala assembly polls

Undercurrents to play crucial role in Kerala assembly polls
Congress leaders coming out after filing a complaint with the Election Commission office in New Delhi on Friday against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his comment comparing Kerala with Somalia. - PTI

Trivandrum - Political analysts believe that the outcome of the May 16 election would hinge more on undercurrents.

By T K Devasia

Published: Sat 14 May 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 14 May 2016, 8:38 AM

With only three days left for the assembly elections in Kerala, no wave in favour of any combination is perceptible in the electoral front.
Political analysts, therefore, believe that the outcome of the May 16 election would hinge more on undercurrents. They see enough scope for various under currents this time since there have been major changes in the political equvations that favoured a change of rule in the state every five years.
What is worrying the two major fronts led by the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) that have been ruling the state alternately every five years since 1977 is the strong presence of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the electoral fray.
Though the BJP has been contesting the elections since 1982, the two fronts have taken it seriously only after it cobbled together a third front with the help of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a political outfit of the numerically strong Ezhava community, and splinter groups of some parties from the two fronts.
With NDA pitching hard for a crucial role in the legislative assembly this time, the state is witnessing triangular contests in many seats. Political observers are expecting strong triangular contests in at least 30 constituencies, where the NDA has fielded its senior leaders and prominent personalities from different walks of life.
The UDF and LDF are still not clear whom the NDA will hurt most. Even though BJP's alliance with BDJS in the local body elections in November 2015 had affected the ruling front the most, the UDF strategists believe that the situation may change with the alliance becoming stronger in the Assembly election.
They say that the UDF had suffered major setbacks in the local body polls as the creamy layer in the Ezhava community, which traditionally favoured the UDF, rallied behind the BDJS.
The UDF strategists believe that the pro-LDF lower class Ezhavas may shift their allegiance to BDJS as it has made concerted efforts to mobilize the entire Ezhava votes with the help of its extensive Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SND) Yogam and its micro finance units across the state.
This, UDF hopes, will favour them in some of the 37 seats where the BDJS has fielded its candidates and in some other Ezhava strongholds where BJP candidates have entered the fray. The LDF is also aware of this. They are trying to offset the loss by wooing the minorities, who constitute nearly 45 percent of the population.
The LDF has sought to make inroads into the Muslim and Christian vote banks by forging new alliances with parties and organizations championing the causes of the minorities and fielding prominent Muslim and Christian candidates in the minority heartlands of Malappuram and Central Travancore.
The LDF allegation regarding a secret pact between the UDF and the Sangh Parivar is also seen as part of a strategy to rally the minorities behind it.
The alleged unholy alliance is LDF's major poll plank in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district. - news@khaleejtimes.com

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