High-stakes LS battle for BDJS and Thushar Vellappally in Kerala

 - Sakshi Post

Thiruvananthapuram, April 17 (IANS) Stakes are particularly high for Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) -- the second biggest ally of the BJP-led NDA in Kerala and more importantly, for its national President Thushar Vellappally, who is contesting from the Kottayam Lok Sabha seat.

Formed with much fanfare in December 2015 with the blessings of the general secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam -- the powerful social organisation of the Ezhavas -- Vellapally Natesan, father of Thushar.

The Hindu Ezhava community in terms of numbers, edges out others and has always been a huge support base for the CPI(M).

Natesan has been trying his best to create a political space for his son after a split took place in the SNDP and the BDJS took birth.

At its first outing in the 2016 Assembly elections, it did create a small ripple and contested 36 seats. the party ended up with 7.95 lakh votes and 4 per cent of the total votes.

But in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, things turned sour for BDJS as its vote share dipped to 1.88 per cent. It secured a mere 3.80 lakh votes from the four seats it contested.

Thushar decided to contest after knowing that it would be Rahul Gandhi who would be the Congress candidate from Wayanad and ended up a poor third with just around 78,000 votes. Gandhi walked away with the biggest margin of votes in the state with over 4.38 lakh votes.

After the Lok Sabha polls, BDJS went into a lull and it surfaced again to show its might in the 2021 Assembly polls, but failed by ending up with just 2.10 lakh votes from the 21 seats it contested and its vote share nosedived to a just 1.06 per cent.

In between there was speculation that to lift the image of the BJP and to get a footing in Kerala, the national leadership of the BJP was planning to include Thushar in the Union cabinet and thereby bring the Hindu Ezhava community closer to them.

A political analyst on condition of anonymity said, "This could well be the last chance for Thushar to stake a claim for a berth in the BJP-led NDA should the Modi government retain power. Even though Thushar's winning is ruled out, his future and long-standing wish to materialize could depend on the vote share that the BDJS gets this time. For that the rank and file of the BDJS is working hard,” said the analyst.

On the flip side, an improved performance by the BDJS could well be bad news for the CPI(M)-led Left, especially in the four seats the BDJS is contesting -- Kottayam, Idukki, Chalakudy and Mavelikera, where the Congress-led UDF candidates are working hard.

Kerala goes to the polls on April 26 to elect 20 new Lok Sabha members.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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