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Kerala: Congress workers clash in party’s district office, CPI(M) and Congress blame each other after BJP registers historic victory in Thrissur

Trading barbs from the Congress side, Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan on Wednesday had blamed Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the BJP’s Thrissur win. 

On Friday (7th June), a major clash broke out between two groups of Congress workers inside the District Congress Committee (DCC) office in Kerala’s Thrissur. The incident unfolded when a meeting was called in to discuss the defeat of Congress candidate K Muraleedharan from the Thrissur constituency. Earlier, the CPI(M) and Congress had blamed each other for “helping BJP win this Lok Sabha seat”.

Notably, BJP’s Suresh Gopi registered a historic victory from Thrissur as he defeated his nearest rival, CPI(M)’s VS Sunil Kumar by a margin of over 74,000 votes. Congress candidate K Muraleedharan came in third place. With this, Suresh Gopi created history for the BJP by delivering the first Lok Sabha seat for the party in Kerala.

(Source – ECI)

After the results were announced on 4th June, tensions have been brewing in the Congress unit of Thrissur district as some anonymous posters blamed DCC chief Jose Valloor and former Thrissur MP T N Prathapan for the defeat. One of the posters read, “No seat No seat for Prathapan even in a ward” and “Jose Vallur should resign”.

Later, on Friday, the situation escalated when DCC Chief Valloor confronted Suresh, a worker aligned with DCC secretary Sajeevan Kuttiyachira, about putting up posters.

It is alleged that Kuttiyachira, a supporter of Muraleedharan, and Suresh were also assaulted by DCC chief Vallur and his supporters. Subsequently, it led to an all-out altercation between supporters of the two factions. 

Later, Sajeevan Kuttiyachira staged a sit-in on the ground floor of the DCC office as he sat in front of a picture of Congress leader and father of K Muraleedharan, K Karunakaran. However, the altercation intensified when supporters of Muraleedharan reached the office.

In fact, on the counting day, K Muraleedharan had criticised the district and state leadership and alleged that no leaders came to campaign for him. 

CPI(M) and Congress blame each other for helping the BJP register its first victory in Kerala

It is pertinent to note that earlier a war of words had erupted between the CPI(M) and Congress in Kerala over Suresh Gopi’s groundbreaking win in Thrissur. They blamed and accused each other of helping the BJP to win its first seat in the state. 

As per electoral data, the Congress party’s vote share in Thrissur declined from 39.83% in 2019 to 30.08% this time, while the BJP’s vote share increased from 29.19% to 37.8%. However, the CPI(M)-led LDF vote share remained nearly the same, increasing slightly from 30.85% in 2019 to 30.95% in the 2024 elections.

After the results were announced, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called for a serious examination of the Thrissur result. Afterward, his colleague and CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan claimed that Congress ensured BJP’s victory from Thrissur. 

He said, “The BJP has got the Congress votes in Thrissur. The Congress lost 86,000 votes while Gopi’s victory margin was 74,000. The LDF increased its votes by 6,000. Our assessment was very clear that the BJP would not win. But the Congress ensured the BJP’s victory.” 

Trading barbs from the Congress side, Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan on Wednesday had blamed Vijayan for the BJP’s Thrissur win. 

He had said, “The UDF had raised concerns over the erosion of votes in CPI(M) areas before the elections. The CPI(M)-BJP deal was out in the open… He (Vijayan) made the deal as he wanted to stop Central agencies from probing his party leaders.”

Congress candidate blames party leadership for his defeat

Furthermore, Congress’ losing Thrissur candidate K Muraleedharan, who had won the Vadakara Lok Sabha seat in 2019, blamed his party for his defeat, adding to the embarrassment for the grand old party.  

Muraleedharan said, “The Congress machinery in the constituency (Thrissur) was in a shambles. Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned for Gopi and Chief Minister (Pinarayi) Vijayan campaigned for the LDF. No one came for me.” 

He added that he may have won had he contested from Vadakara again. Incidentally, he was already campaigning in the Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency, when the Congress abruptly announced his ticket from Thrissur. The development came after his sister Padmaja Venugopal switched to the BJP. Notably, both of them are children of the late Congress Kerala veteran, K Karuankaran. 

Meanwhile, a section of the Youth Congress leaders also raised questions over Muraleedharan’s loss and they demanded the resignation of district president Jose Vallore and senior leader T N Prathapan, who won from Thrissur in 2019. 

However, Kerala Congress chief K Sudhakaran reached out to Muraleedharan and said that the party will review what went wrong in Thrissur. Sudhakaran said, “The outcome was totally unexpected. Muraleedharan is an asset for the party and is not a leader who should stay away from public life. We will ensure he is active in the Congress at any cost.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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