HOME > SOCIETY > POLITICS > General Elections 2014: Minority consolidation to help Congress retain Kerala seats

General Elections 2014: Minority consolidation to help Congress retain Kerala seats

The vote share of the Congress Party-led United Democratic Front will fall by 3% in the upcoming general elections 2014 in Kerala, while that of the Left Democratic Front will remain the same compared to 2009 – according to an opinion poll by Asianet News network and research firm C Fore.

The Bhartiya Janata Party will improve its vote share in Kerala back to 11% from 6.4% in the 2009 general elections, but will still fail to get a single seat in the state, the survey predicted.vote-ezhava-christian-muslim-kerala

The BJP’s vote share had increased steadily in Kerala — home to the highest number of RSS branches — through the late 80s all the way up to about 11% in 2004.

According to the survey, a strong consolidation of christian and muslim votes in favor of the Congress’ UDF alliance, which also includes the Indian Union Muslim League, will help the Congress deflect the anti-incumbency factor that was expected to dent its prospects.

As a result, UDF’s tally is likely to fall to on 11 seats from 16 seats while the LDF’s tally is likely to increase only to 9 seats from 4 seats in 2009.

Chistian and Muslim voters are voting for the Congress alliance in appreciation of the strong representation that the communities have got in the current UDF government in the state, commentators said while analyzing the results. The two communities make up around 50% of the state’s population.

Congress has had a Christian chief minister, Oommen Chandy, since coming to power in the state in 2011 and also has also given prominent positions to several Kerala Christian community members at the center including AK Antony, PC Chacko, PJ Kurien, PJ Thomas and KV Thomas. AK Antony is widely seen as a prime ministerial candidate if the Congress comes back to power.

However, it must be remembered that the UDF typically gets the overwhelming support of the rich Syrian Christian communities, from whom all the above members are drawn and who make up about 15% of the state’ population. The so-called Latin Christians, who make up a tiny percentage and have other backward classes reservation, is largely like other communities – a mix of UDF and LDF voters.

According to an exit survey conducted in 2011 after the state assembly elections, Syrian Christians turned out to be the most solid vote bank of any party, with 75% of them voting for the UDF alliance. Only 50% of the Muslims had voted for the UDF, according to the survey.

The latest survey by Asianet did not distinguish between Syrian Christians and Latin Christians. According to it, the Christians as a whole continue to support the UDF alliance, which will get 65% of the community’s votes in the coming elections. All except one constituency in middle Kerala — where the Christian community is higher in number — will be swept by the UDF alliance, the survey found.

Interestingly, the Narendra Modi factor seems to have created a mobilization among the Muslims in the state in favor of the UDF as well. 62% of them will vote for the UDF in the coming elections, according to the survey, while only 36% will vote for the LDF. The LDF typically gets above 40% of the community’s votes.

Another relative swing is in the upper caste Hindu votes. The Nair community, which comprises about 11% of the state’s population, will seen nearly a fifth (19%) of its vote go to the BJP, the survey revealed. 43% support the UDF and 33% support the LDF, it revealed. The CPIM, which leads the LDF, is headed by an upper caste Hindu nationally, though it is headed by Ezhavas — the biggest caste in Kerala — at the state level.

Ezhavas, 57% of whom voted for the LDF in the 2011 state elections according to the earlier Asianet survey, will continue to favor the LDF to a large extent, the new survey found. However, this time, only 51% of them will vote for the LDF.

Congress party president Sonia Gandhi has been trying to woo the Ezhavas, who comprise 22% of the population, to the party.

Though the UDF gets about 17% of its votes from Ezhavas, only 3 out of the 72 UDF legislators (4%) in the Kerala Assembly belong to the community. Nearly all the Ezhava MLAs, as a result, sit on the LDF benches, though only about 55-60% of Ezhavas vote for the party.

TABLE – EXPECTED VOTE SHARE% UPCOMING GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

CommunityUDFLDFBJPOTHERS
DALIT (15%)326341
EZHAVA (21%)415171
MUSLIM (29%)623602
CHRISTIAN (19%)652852
NAIR (11%)4733191

SOURCE: ASIANET C FORE SURVEY, FEB 2014

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi may be disappointed looking at the results of the opinion poll — he seems to have failed to make any inroads into the Ezhava community for the BJP. Modi, who is being touted as a fellow backward caste member to attract Ezhavas, had delivered a speech at Sivagiri Mutt, established by Ezhavas’ spiritual leader Sree Narayana Guru.

Only 7% of Ezhavas, however, will vote for the BJP, according to the survey, largely unchanged from earlier figures.

Modi had also addressed a union of the Pulayas, who are classified as being at the bottom of the caste pyramid in the traditional Brahmanical system. However, among Dalits too, BJP will get only 4% of the votes.

Most Dalits, or 63%, will vote for the LDF, while 32% will vote for the UDF.

Unlike in the rest of India, where the Congress Party is a traditional alliance of the upper castes and the Dalits, in Kerala, the Dalits, the Latin Christians, backward caste Muslims and Ezhavas have formed the support base for the Left parties till recently, while the Congress has always drawn its support from the well-to-do sections — upper caste Hindus, upper-caste Christians (Syrian Christians) and wealthy Muslims.

However, due to increasing communal polarization in Indian politics and the Gulf boom which raised income levels in the Muslim community in Kerala, a large section of young Muslim voters have shifted their loyalties to the Indian Union Muslim League, which is the second biggest constituent of the UDF. In the era of identity politics, the IUML is seen as a strong protector of the community’s interests, just like the Kerala Congress, another UDF constituent, was seen as a strong protector of the Syrian Christian interests such as protecting the privileges of Catholic educational institutions, preventing reclamation of forest land from settlers and plantation owners.

With the leadership of the Kerala unit of the Congress Party now passing on to the hands of the Christians, the role of the Kerala Congress has diminished of late, while the upper caste Hindus, who used to dominate the Congress Party at the state level, have now started fancying the BJP much more.

The survey estimated the share of the Aam Aadmi Party, which is yet to announce its candidates and has a strong following in urban areas and among educated Muslims, at less than 2%.

It must, however, be remembered it is early days yet and the numbers are likely to change later.

Follow ULTRA.news
Liquor shops in Kerala start installing token system Kerala's snaking long queues in front of its liquor shops -- the state's only source of alcohol after bars were banned in 2014 -- are almost as famous as the backwaters and beaches, but some relief may be on the horizon for hapless liquor buyers.As there are only about 340 li...
RBI yet to finish counting demonetized notes – Govt Eight months on, the Reserve Bank of India is yet to finish verifying and counting the 500- and 1000-rupee notes surrendered by the public between Nov 8 and Dec 31, 2016, the finance ministry said.A total of around 2,300 currency notes are estimated to have been returned by t...
Car driver fined Rs 5,000 for blocking bus from overtaking A medical student in Kerala was fined Rs 5,000 and his car impounded for three days after the driver of a State Road Transport Corporation bus complained that the student forced the bus to go slow.Faizal, from Azhiyoor near Mahe, was accused of blocking the way and forcing th...
Kannur Airport: 95% of airside, 90% of cityside work completed Kerala's fourth international airport at Kannur is very close to completion, with 95% of the airside works and 90% of cityside work completed, the government said today.Airside refers to the runway, bays, traffic control tower and so on, while city-side works refer to civilia...
Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV gets derated by Malayalis Republic TV, the channel launched by Arnab Goswami -- the former editor of Times Now -- has come in for a barrage of criticism on social media after Malayalis took offence to what has been portrayed as repeated attempts by the channel to tarnish the reputation of the state.Th...
Nawaz Sharif Proves Unlucky For The Third Time Nawaz Sharif is third time unlucky to have to abandon his term as the democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.With the Supreme Court disqualifying him over the corruption cases for ten years, sixty-seven-year-old Sharif’s premiership comes to end one year before hi...
Smriti Irani Trumps PTI: Takes to twitter to expose ‘fake news’ Smriti Irani, who recently took on the role of the union minister for information and broadcasting has started off with a bang by alleging that the country's largest news wire distributed photo Chennai floods claiming them to be those of the floods in Gujarat.Unlike her prede...
Nitish, Lalu and the ‘Post Truth’ Politics of Bihar In the so-called 'post truth' politics, facts and ideology do not have a place - it is emotion and rhetoric that counts.When Nitish Kumar decided to part ways with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in late 2013 opposing the elevation of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial cand...
Shiv Sena suspects Pakistan’s role behind gau-rakshaks Ratcheting up its attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, fellow saffron outfit Shiv Sena today dared cow vigilantes to fight for the country in Kashmir and asked if Pakistan was behind such attackers.India has seen two waves of vigilante attacks targeted at those who ea...
SC refuses to expedite challenge against taking back of partition migrants from Pakistan The Supreme Court has refused the request for an early listing of a petition that questions permitting descendants of people who migrated to Pakistan to come back to India.The petition seeks the quashing of the Jammu and Kashmir Rehabilitation Act of 1981 that would give the ...
‘Comrade in burqa’ divides ‘progressives’ in Kerala A photo of a young Muslim girl working with the Students Federation of India, the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has reopened questions around whether the Left movement in Kerala is straying from its ideological roots and commitments.Ameera Khan from ...
Kerala Muslim girl draws fire for marrying Hindu boy A Muslim girl who got married to a Hindu boy has come under heavy fire on social media for causing distress to her parents.Many of her former co-religionists found her decision unpalatable."You have sacrificed the eternal for the fleeting, not because you lack education, but ...
Pakistan Army shares video of Kashmiris celebrating cricket victory Major General Asif Ghafoor, the official spokesperson of Pakistan's armed forces, shared a video of some people in Kashmir celebrating the victory of his country's cricket team in the final of ICC Champions Trophy."And this is... Srinagar," Ghafoor said. His tweet came shortly ...
Next president be from Jammu & Kashmir — Bhim Singh Noted Kashmiri politician Bhim Singh has called on the government to appoint the next president from Jammu & Kashmir and send a strong signal to secessionists.Singh suggested the name of another Kashmiri politician Karan Singh for the post.Karan Singh is the son of the ...
Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mavani, others organize anti-lynching platform Prominent activists such as Kanhaiya Kumar, Jignesh Mavani, Tehseen Poonawalla and Shehla Rashid have formed an anti-lynching front in the background of vigilante attacks in the name of religious symbols like the cow.Under the banner of the National Campaign Against Mob Lync...
The fast rise of extremist Islam in Maldives When Hussain Rasheed started talking about his son, a sob choked his voice.Hussain Rasheed (left) and Shauna Aminath (rightmost)His feeble reply wasn't even audible to the small gathering for sometime. When he regained his composure the first question he asked: Why was ...
O Panneerselvam says to look at alliance with BJP soon O Paneerselvam, the ex-chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the leader of a prominent faction within the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (All India Anna Dravida Advancement Front) has indicated that his faction is open to an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.Panne...
Rajinikanth set to announce his own party; BJP, AIADMK nervous Rajinikanth, the most popular actor in Tamil Nadu, today made it more or less clear that he would enter politics soon.Going by his comments, the charismatic actor is likely to float a new party, which has made existing parties such as the BJP, AIADMK and DMK nervous.Speak...
Ravi Shankar Prasad tears into Mamata for ‘forcing’ family to abandon BJP BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad today attacked West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee using very sharp words for what he said was the pressure brought on the adivasi family to renege its connection with his party and become supporters of Bannerjee's Trinamool Congress....
Cow Violence: Amit Shah says will bring situation under control Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah said the state governments run by the party will bring people who commit violence in the name of the cow under control."Trust us, we will bring this under control very soon," Shah said in an interview with India Today television....
Mayank Gandhi delivers scathing message to Arvind Kejriwal From the video message of Mayank GandhiFormer compatriot and head of Aam Aadmi Party Maharashtra, Mayank Gandhi has assailed Arvind Kejriwal in an acerbic letter that traces the AAP leader's rise and fall over the last five years.Gandhi, who left the organization after fou...
Delhi MCD Election Results Live: End of the road for AAP & Kejriwal BJP 181CONGRESS 31AAP 46OTHERS 12The initial trends from the Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) elections indicate that the prediction of exit polls of a demise for the Aam Aadmi Party have turned out to be correct.The BJP is all set to come...
Arnab Goswami teases the launch of Republic TV A videograb from the 'teaser'Arnab Goswami, arguably the most talked about Indian journalist in recent years, has released a teaser video on the upcoming launch of his new television channel Republic TV.The video shows Goswami writing a letter to Mr Gandhi -- perhaps a r...
Vande Mataram mandatory in Schools: SC sends notice to govt A popular portrayal of Mother IndiaAfter making the National Anthem mandatory in movie halls, the Supreme Court has moved on to the question of whether or not to make Vande Mataram, the national song of India, mandatory in schools.Taking up a petition on the matter, the ...
Malappuram bypoll election results: BJP fails to make headway The Bharatiya Janata Party has failed to make much headway in Kerala over the last two years, going by the results of a by-poll in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency.With nearly 95% of the eight lakh votes counted, the BJP has seen its vote share decline f...