Poonjar bids goodbye to PC George's divisive politics, finally

PC George

Overconfidence, arrogance and divisive politics were given a burial in Poonjar, a constituency considered the fiefdom of P C George. George had been winning the constituency since 1996.

Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate Sebastian Kulathunkal registered a thumping win against George by a margin of 11,104 votes.

George's defeat came as a shocker to many, who had expected a tough fight in Poonjar. 

Several political analysts were expecting George to scrape through as votes would get split between Kulathunkal and UDF's Tomy Kallani, they calculated. 

However, from the results, it seems there was a consolidation of anti-George votes, mainly the Muslim voters.

George used to be a darling of the Muslims of the constituency and they had contributed much to his win in 2016, when he emerged the winner with a whopping margin of 27,821 votes despite contesting as an independent. 

However, George later antagonised the community with his rude and distasteful remarks forcing the community to vote en block to ensure his defeat. 

During the campaign at Erattupetta, a Muslim dominated area, he was booed away by the voters there. Even then, he hurled abuses at his critics in public and declared that he did not need their votes. 

Sources in the constituency said the Muslim community had conducted an internal survey to find out, which candidate had more chance of winning against George and zeroed in on Kulathunkal.

George's counter-strategy was to consolidate Christian and Hindu votes in his favour. His comments on issues like the purported Love Jihad controversy echoed the Sangh Parivar's views. The results show it did not work well. 

It would be naïve to assume that George tasted defeat just because of Muslim consolidation. It seems the majority of Poonjar's voters desired a change. There were many who were against George's style of politics – chest-thumping, name-calling and divisive tactics.

George knew that it would not be a cakewalk for him this time if he fought alone. He tried hard to get into his old camp UDF ahead of the elections unsuccessfully. 

Reacting to the results, George tried to put the blame on what he termed 'the Pinarayi wave'. While he could be right about the Pinarayi wave helping Kulathunkal, it would be a mistake if he fails to acknowledge that his brand of politics does not win always. 

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