Assembly polls: Kerala results show religious polarisation

on May 14th, 2011 and filed under Features, News, World News.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The remarkable rally staged by the Left in Kerala which brought it to the brink of an unexpected victory appears to have been facilitated by a Hindu consolidation behind outgoing chief minister V S Achuthanandan.

The voting pattern displayed a communal polarization across the state, with Christians and Muslims consolidating behind Congress-led UDF, and the Hindu areas going with the CPM-led LDF in almost a repeat of the 1987 state polls.

The Congress and allies won maximum seats in Muslim-dominated Mallapuram and Christian belts Ernakulam and Kottayam. The CPM and allies won in Kannur, Kozhikode, Kollam, Palakkad, Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram, which all have significant Hindu concentration. Ezhavas, the community to which Achuthanandan belongs, were at the vanguard of Hindu consolidation for their man. Their pro-Achuthanandan fervour was evident in the Left’s strong showing in Alappuzha where Congress had hoped to do well.

There were a few exceptions, but broadly, the Hindus gravitated towards the Left in reaction to the UDF’s aggressive wooing of Christians and Muslims. In fact, Congress had sniffed the risk and decided to field state party chief Ramesh Chennithala to blunt the reaction among Hindus to the projection of Oomen Chandy as UDF’s chief ministerial choice.

Source: Times of India
T Ramavarman & Ananthakrishnan G, TNN | May 14, 2011, 09.00am IST

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