Thursday, October 1, 2020
Home Opinions Church organizations backed Christian LDF candidate in Chengannur, why didn't Hindu organizations support BJP?

Church organizations backed Christian LDF candidate in Chengannur, why didn’t Hindu organizations support BJP?

You would have heard and read a lot in the media about the result of the by-election to Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, mostly because it was, though expected, a defeat for the BJP. There was another election result announced the same day that, for me personally, was more disappointing than the happenings in Uttar Pradesh. As Sujoy Ghosh explained in this OpIndia article, the result of Kairana may not be a total washout for BJP and there might actually be many positives for the party, in numbers as well as a psychological edge against the combined opposition in the run-up to the next Lok Sabha election. The defeat in Chengannur, however, is another reminder of the hopeless prospects of BJP in Kerala when it comes to winning elections.

Kerala is a state where Hindus are now officially less than 50% of the total population. And the demographic distribution is such that, there are only a very small number of assembly constituencies where the Hindu vote can decide the winner. Chengannur in Alappuzha district is one of those rare seats where Hindus have a comfortable majority (60+%). The Christians, who have traditionally voted in favour of Congress-led UDF in Kerala, also have a very significant presence in the constituency forming about 30% of the total electorate. Among the Hindu castes, Nairs form the majority and the Nair Service Society (NSS), despite it’s stated sama-dooram (equidistant) policy has always provided a tacit support to the UDF.

As a result of its demographic composition, Chengannur has traditionally been a safe seat for the Congress party until the LDF won during the 2016 assembly election. One of the factors that contributed to the LDF’s surprise victory was the spectacular increase in the BJP’s vote share from about 5000 votes in the previous election to about 42,000; just 2000 behind the Congress candidate who was also a 2-time MLA. While a small portion of these increased votes in favour of BJP was due to Nairs and other Hindu castes, a majority of it was due to the support from the Ezhava community. Though Ezhavas have traditionally formed the backbone of the CPI(M)’s vote bank, BJP was able to wean away a part of those votes in 2016 due to an alliance with the SNDP-backed BDJS party (SNDP is the community organization that represents the social and educational interests of the Ezhavas). Unlike the NSS, which has supported whichever front was in power, SNDP adopted a principled stand in support of uniting all the Hindu castes which resulted in the formation of BDJS and an alliance with BJP.

However, the relation between BJP and SNDP has since taken a southward turn. SNDP general secretary, Vellapally Natesan and his son, Tushar (who is also the president of BDJS), have been in a perpetual sulking mode against the BJP. They have accused the party, especially it’s national president Amit Shah, of not fulfilling the promises made during the alliance formation. There have been persistent speculations in the Kerala media about Tushar Vellapally being offered a Rajya Sabha membership by BJP. Not only has this not happened, the party has instead nominated two other Malayalees, K Alphons and V Muralidharan, to the house of elders. Other points of friction have included lack of action in completing nominations to the boards of different Central government organizations in Kerala. As a consequence of these festering issues between the two parties, not only has the BDJS stayed away from the campaign in Chengannur, SNDP is rumoured to have instructed its members to teach a lesson to the arrogant big-brother.

When the results of by-election were announced on 31st May, the LDF candidate won with a massive margin of 20,000+ votes. BJP’s Sreedharan Pillai came 3rd, having lost almost 9000 votes from what he polled in 2006. On the results, Mr Natesan commented that they were just rewards for BJP’s arrogance and Mr Pillai seems to agree with him. A dispassionate analysis of the voting numbers shows that the result was due to the Christian votes consolidating in support of the Christian LDF candidate and the majority Hindu votes splitting 3-way. It also needs to be pointed out that while the BJP plays hardball with the leadership of Hindu organizations such as SNDP/BDJS, it readily rewards someone like Mr Alphons, a Christian, with Parliament membership and a cabinet berth despite the community shunning the party, not just in Kerala but also in Mizoram.

At this juncture, if you are an outsider to Kerala, there is a legitimate question that might occur to you. While the Church organizations totally backed the Christian LDF candidate in Chengannur, why didn’t the Hindu organizations like NSS and SNDP support BJP, the Hindu party? As already explained above, SNDP did come out and support BJP in the previous election, only to be treated like a second-rate nobody by the national party. Also, these community organizations run many educational and charitable institutions in Kerala. It could be very costly for them to anger LDF or UDF which share power in the state. What would they gain by supporting BJP which cannot even put up a strong, united opposition in the state? What protection can they expect from a party that can’t even save its workers from getting butchered by their political opponents in Kerala and Bengal? If BJP has any genuine ambitions of making inroads into Kerala, it is important for the party to refresh it’s alliance formation skills and to remind itself about the transactional nature of these social and political alliances. That is the lesson party can take back from Chengannur to New Delhi.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Madhavanhttps://infofactoryin.wordpress.com/
A scientist in another life. A science administering clerk now. Observing politics in India, science, and society in general.

Related Articles

Trending now

As the world battles Chinese virus and India plants its feet against Chinese aggression, The Hindu makes money by printing Chinese propaganda

While the dead bodies mount and India fights a dual battle with the communist regime in the form of their unprovoked aggression at the LAC, Leftist paper, The Hindu, is making money from China and furthering its propaganda for its readers.

The incredible stupidity of liberals in asking “How can Ram or Krishna have a birthplace?”

Liberals need to know that just like non-man entities like governments, companies, NGOs etc., Gods also can own property

Kapil Mishra was not described as a ‘whistleblower’ in the Delhi Riots chargesheet, people being threatened by Rahul Roy were: What media hid

An untruth propagated by media was that the Delhi Riots chargesheet filed detailing the conspiracy terms Kapil Mishra as a 'whistleblower'.

Hypocrisy, thy name Rohini Singh: The Wire employee outrages selectively depending on caste and religious identity of victim and perpetrator

Close on the heels of Hathras horror, a 22-year-old Dalit girl was gang-raped in Balrampur also in Uttar Pradesh. But did it invoke same angry reactions? No.

Hathras case gets politicised: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra shares video of the victim’s father where he is being prompted to demand ‘court monitored CBI probe’

A voice can be heard in the background in the video prompting the father of the Hathras rape and murder victim to demand CBI probe

Recently Popular

Hathras gang rape: Victim cremated, accused arrested. All you need to know about the case

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had a telephonic conversation with PM Modi regarding the incident and said that a special team has been formed to probe into the incident. The team will submit the report in next seven days.

‘Maal is cigarette and hash are its different brands’, Deepika Padukone makes bizarre claims when confronted with ‘drug’ chats: Report

Deepika Padukone and others were apprised in advance as to what needed to be said during the interrogation, claimed NCB

Viral message claiming that home minister Amit Shah flown to New York for treatment is false, read details

A message has gone viral on WhatsApp claiming that Amit Shah was shifted to the USA via an air ambulance due to 'critical condition'

Bangalore Mirror journalist loses her mind over OpIndia’s coverage of Delhi anti-Hindu riots, suffers meltdown over long DMs and emails

After constantly sending lengthy emails and elaborate DMs, the Bangalore Mirror journalist also claimed that she does not want to 'engage in a conversation'.

Rajasthan: Two minor girls gang-raped, accused threatened girls in front of the police

Two minor girls gang-raped for three days in Rajasthan.

SDPI leader Tasleem Rehmani calls SC verdict on Ayodhya wrong, says will rebuild Babri even it takes a thousand years

Tasleem Rehmani said that the he respected the Supreme Court but said that the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri judgment is wrong

Rahul Gandhi has a great ‘fall’: The media stunt of Hathras journey has turned into a meme fest

Rahul Gandhi is the largest stakeholder of Meme maker Rozgar Yojna. He is the muse, the inspiration and the idea that makes legendary meme artists create meme-masterpieces.

Journalist says brutal murder of teenage girl in Hathras is ‘God-given strategic opportunity’ for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Priyanka Gandhi has been launching a no-holds-barred attack against the Yogi govt over the Hathras gang-rape incident

As the world battles Chinese virus and India plants its feet against Chinese aggression, The Hindu makes money by printing Chinese propaganda

While the dead bodies mount and India fights a dual battle with the communist regime in the form of their unprovoked aggression at the LAC, Leftist paper, The Hindu, is making money from China and furthering its propaganda for its readers.

The incredible stupidity of liberals in asking “How can Ram or Krishna have a birthplace?”

Liberals need to know that just like non-man entities like governments, companies, NGOs etc., Gods also can own property

Chattisgarh: 12th pass man found running medical store, nursing home with 4 beds

During the raid, the DM and revenue department officials also found a 4-bed nursing home being operated inside the medical store where a female patient was being treated for typhoid.

After actor Kangana Ranaut, BJP MP and actor Ravi Kishan provided with Y-plus security cover, thanks Yogi Adityanath

Last month, Ravi Kishan had raised the issue of drug trafficking and usage that is plaguing the Bollywood.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claims that President Vladimir Putin was behind his suspected poisoning: Reports

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was admitted to the ICU in the month of August after being allegedly poisoned by nerve agent

Kapil Mishra was not described as a ‘whistleblower’ in the Delhi Riots chargesheet, people being threatened by Rahul Roy were: What media hid

An untruth propagated by media was that the Delhi Riots chargesheet filed detailing the conspiracy terms Kapil Mishra as a 'whistleblower'.

Connect with us

244,698FansLike
457,194FollowersFollow
17,500SubscribersSubscribe