Ignominious defeat for BJP in Thrikkakara bypoll as Radhakrishan loses deposit

BJP leaders
A N Radhakrishnan arrives at collectorate to submit nomination along with prominent BJP leaders. Photo: Special arrangement

Kochi: In a major embarrassment, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate lost his deposit in the Thrikkakara legislative assembly bypoll even after being a seasoned politician.

A N Radhakrishan, who is party's State vice-president, could garner only 9.57 percent of the total votes polled. Adding insult to injury, it received 2,526 votes less compared to the 2021 polls.

Only if a candidate receives one-sixth of the total polled votes, the deposit will be refunded. In order to qualify for that, the party had to score 22,558 votes in Thrikkakara, but it got only 12,957 votes. In the 2021 elections too, the party lost its deposit.

With a vote share of 53.76 per cent, the victorious United Democratic Front (UDF) got an additional 12,931 votes this time, while the Left Democratic Front bagged an extra 2,244 votes. The LDF's vote share stood at 35.28 per cent as its CPM candidate Dr Jo Joseph came second to the winning candidate Uma Thomas of the Congress.

Trailed in all polling booths

This time, the BJP could not be able to lead even in a single booth. Last time, it managed to come first in four booths and reach second in 11 booths. The party, which managed to get 15 per cent of vote share in 2016 and 11.34 per cent in 2021, had to be content with just 9.57 per cent of votes this time.

Likely implications

The loss of deposit for the party candidate will have its ripples in the faction-ridden State unit of the party. During the time of the selection of the candidate, one of the names mooted was that of party's women's wing (Mahila Morcha) leader owing allegiance to the faction led by Union Minister V Muraleedharan and party State president K Surendran. But it is alleged that the candidacy was later thrust upon Radhakrishnan by the Surendran faction citing his vast experience in electoral politics.

It is true that the BJP State unit took all steps during the electioneering to see that the groupism in the party did not affect the party candidate's prospects. All senior leaders of the party reached out to the electorate by campaigning in the nook and corner of the constituency. Even dissident leader Shobha Surendran was roped in for campaign by the party. But, all these steps did not get translated into votes.

The controversies surrounding Poonjar former legislator P C George did not fetch the party any electoral gains. The BJP's expectation that the colorful victory bagged by the party in the recent bypoll in the Tripunithura Municipality and the Kochi Corporation would get repeated in Thrikkakara fell flat.

But, a section in the party claims that since the Thrikkakara constituency belonged to 'C' class category in the party's probability list, the party had no high expectation in this election. 

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.