Thrissur LS Election Result 2024: Thumping victory for Suresh Gopi

Suresh Gopi. Photo: File/ Manorama

Thrissur: NDA's Suresh Gopi scripted history by winning Thrissur seat in the Lok Sabha elections with a lead of 75,079 votes. As per the Election Commission data till 3.15 pm, the actor-politician has secured 4,09,239 votes. His opponent LDF's V S Sunil Kumar is trailing in second position with 3,34,160 votes. With this, Suresh Gopi has opened account for BJP in Kerala. He will be the first MP-elect from the state.

Congress expected that K Muraleedharan, who was shifted from Vadakara to Thrissur, will secure a victory over former state minister Sunil Kumar, though he had an upper hand during the final phase of the campaign.
Read: Know Your Candidate: In Thrissur, saffron star meets seasoned Congressman & popular comrade

When BJP made its electoral debut in the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency in 1989, its vote share stood at a meagre 5.35 per cent like elsewhere in the state. The trend continued throughout the next seven elections until 2014 when the saffron vote share stood below or occasionally a little above 10 per cent. In 2019, Suresh Gopi literally made a mass entry to the temple town, effecting a paradigm shift in the constituency’s election statistics.

The film star, known for his mass police roles, polled 28.19% of votes – a massive leap from the 11.15% scored by K P Sreeshan for BJP in 2014. Though Congress’ T N Prathapan won the election with 39.83% of votes, Suresh Gopi managed to come close to CPI’s 30.85% causing tremors within the Left front. Rajaji Mathew Thomas was the CPI candidate.

Suresh Gopi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by BJP in 2016 and by 2019 he had established himself as a loyalist of Narendra Modi. 

Gopi’s track record as a philanthropist and acceptance cutting across party lines made him BJP’s best bet in Thrissur. The party fielded him from Thrissur in the 2021 assembly polls too, though unsuccessfully once again. He came third behind CPI’s P Balachandran and Congress’ Padmaja Venugopal. Padmaja, the daughter of former Chief Minister and Congress stalwart K Karunakaran, joined the BJP ahead of the LS polls and campaigned for Suresh Gopi against her brother K Muraleedharan.

The Congress shifted Muraleedharan from his sitting Vadakara constituency to Thrissur at the last minute and the possible damage caused by Padmaja’s shift in allegiance was one of the reasons behind the move. 

The entry of V S Sunilkumar, who has represented different assembly segments in Thrissur in the past and has a clean image, as the CPI candidate made the battle for Thrissur a keenly watched triangular contest this time. 

The BJP centred its campaign around Suresh Gopi’s image while Murali was presented by the Congress as the big fighter against the Sangh Parivar. In Sunil Kumar, the Left front found a candidate who could escape the perceived anti-incumbency feeling against the Pinarayi Vijayan-led state government.

Suresh Gopi despite losing two elections spent the past couple of years in Thrissur and made it a point to make deep connections with different sections of the region, including church denominations, boosting BJP’s confidence. 

The Manorama News-VMR exit poll has predicted a comfortable win for UDF's K Muraleedharan in Thrissur. NDA's Suresh Gopi is predicted to finish third behind LDF's Sunil Kumar.

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