Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the UDF and the BJP had entered into a secret “vote trade” in at least 90 constituencies in Kerala.
He said the deal was struck at the level of the top leadership.
Here are some constituencies, the Chief Minister said, where the “trade” had taken place: Sulthan Bathery, Perumbavur, Kundara, Thrippunithura, Chalakkudy, Kovalam, Pala, Kaduthuruthy, Kuttiady, Koyilandy, Nemom, Vamanapuram and Thavanur.
In some of these places the UDF won and in many others like Thavanur and Kuttiady, the Chief Minister said the LDF candidates managed to overcome the “conspiracy”.
The Chief Minister was interacting with the media in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
In Sulthan Bathery, he said there was a deficit of 12,458 votes for the BJP when compared to 2016. "And here, the UDF candidate (I C Balakrishnan, Congress) won by 11,822 votes," Pinarayi said, and added: If they had grown as a party, as they repeatedly claim, their votes should also have grown."
In Perumbavoor, the UDF (Eldose Kunnappallil of Congress) won by 2889 votes. "Here, the BJP lost 4596 votes," he said. He also attributed fisheries minister J Mercikutty Amma's loss also to this "vote trade.
"Here, Mercikutty lost by 4452 votes. But the BJP votes had fallen by 14,160," Pinarayi said.
But when he was asked what happened to Mercikutty's margin of over 30,000 votes in 2016, he evaded the question.
In Thrippunithura, the UDF (Congress's K Babu) had won by 992 votes; he defeated sitting MLA M Swaraj.
"But the BJP had lost 6087 votes in Thrippunithura," the Chief Minister said.
Similar was the case in Chalakkudy, where Saneeshkumar Joseph of the Congress won by a slender margin of 1057 votes. The Chief Minister said the loss in BJP votes was 6087.
Even in places where Congress candidates won big, like in Kovalam, he alleged "vote trade". In Kovalam, M Vincent had won by a margin of 11,562 votes. He said all these votes came from the BJP as the number of votes it had lost when compared to 2016 was 12,323.
The loss of Kerala Congress (Mani) candidates, including that of Jose k Mani, was explained away by this simple arithmetic. Mani C Kappen had triumphed over Jose K Mani by 15,378 votes. Pinarayi said the BJP had lost more votes (13,952) than this margin.
The win of Mons Joseph in Kaduthuruthy against KC(M)'s Stephen George was also questioned. "The UDF won by 4251 votes but the BJP had lost 5866 votes," Pinarayi said.
"All this shows that if such a secret trade had not taken place, the UDF fall would have been even greater," the Chief Minister said. However, he said that in places like Thavanur (LDF's KT Jaleel won by 2564 votes), Koyilandy (CPM's Kanathil Jameela won by 8472) and Kuttiady (Kunhammed Kutty Master scraped through with 333 votes) the LDF candidates won despite the “vote trade”.
As for Nemom, Pinarayi said the improved vote share of the Congress was proof that such votes were sneaked to the BJP last time. The Chief Minister said the Congress leaders thought they would win with such a secret arrangement.
“They believed that two plus two was four but the voters had a different plan. That was why the LDF had such a stupendous win,” Pinarayi said.
He said that the BJP should institute an enquiry into the “vote trade” as the party lost votes even in constituencies that were visited by its top leaders like Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.