Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Political Twists, Turns Upset UDF & LDF Poll Equations In Kerala

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Political Twists, Turns Upset UDF & LDF Poll Equations In Kerala

The ED has expedited the probe in the monthly payment scam against the firm of Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena. Reports say she may be called for questioning ahead of LS poll in Kerala on April 26

Shankar RajUpdated: Thursday, April 11, 2024, 11:08 AM IST
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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan | File Photo

Thiruvananthapuram: As campaigning for the Lok Sabha is nearing the second lap, a couple of twists and turns have upset the UDF and the LDF poll equations. If it is screening of the controversial movie The Kerala Story by a few churches that has put the UDF and the LDF on tenterhooks, it is a bomb blast in Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s home district that has exploded in the face of the Left parties. To worsen the matters, the ED has expedited the probe in the month ly payment scam against the firm of Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena Vijayan. Reports say she may be called for questioning ahead of poll in Kerala on April 26. If that were to happen, the CPI-M would find itself in a tight spot. Veena was allegedly paid a monthly amount by a private mineral firm for doing nothing.

The first twist

The sudden decision by the Church leadership to screen The Kerala Story has come as a setback to both LDF and UDF, both of whom are highly critical of the movie. However, the two fronts got some relief when the imams of various mos - ques made pointed references to The Kerala Story during Ramzan prayers and called it a false propaganda against the Muslim community. At one end of the political spectrum are the Christians and at the other, the Muslims, making Kerala a communal hot turf ahead of the Lok Sabha election. Earlier, UDF and LDF had a ray of hope during Easter when a message went out from the pulpits that the community and its institutions were not safe in the light of the events that unfolded in Manipur. This was a major setback for the BJP which had been assiduously wooing the Christian community.

But days later came The Kerala Story as a major unexpected stumbling block for the two leading political fronts in Kerala. Three prominent factions of the Catholic Syro Malabar Church have come forward to screen the movie among the faithful. While the LDF and the UDF were caught off guard, the BJP seems to have found an unexpected lifeline. Though the two fronts unleashed a tirade against the movie, they have stopped short of criticising the Church leadership fearing erosion of their respective Christian support base. With election two weeks away, the Church move has come as a major boost to the BJP-led NDA. Social commentators feel this could reflect in the coming LS poll. The whole discussion over what’s termed as ‘Love Jihad’ would benefit the BJP.

Second twist

Meanwhile, the Left Democratic Front’s LS campaign is seen struggling for a political lifeline to pull itself out of a swirling vortex of arguably damning election-era controversies. On the one hand, the ruling front appeared striving to fend off Congress’s aggressive campaign linking the CPI-M local leadership to the accidental improvised explosive device (IED) blast that killed one bomb-maker and injured two at Panoor in Kannur last week, and on the other is the ED and I-T enquiries into cooperative sector banks controlled by the CPI-M. All the twists and turns have made this year’s Lok Sabha election a political thriller in Kerala.

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