News18 Mega Opinion Poll Predicts Sweep for Congress-Led UDF in Kerala; NDA May Open Account With 2 Seats – News18

Curated By: News Desk
Last Updated: March 13, 2024, 19:59 IST
New Delhi, India
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi poses for a selfie during a programme in Wayanad. (Image: PTI/File)
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is likely to win 14 of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with four seats predicted for the LDF, according to the News18 Mega Opinion Poll.
The most interesting prediction, however, is that the BJP-led NDA could open its account in the state with two seats and a vote share of 18 per cent.
CNN-News18’s survey from February 12 to March 1 covered 21 major states of India that account for 95% all Lok Sabha constituencies, making it one of the largest surveys in the country. It provides valuable insights into the political landscape of India, offering a detailed analysis of voter sentiment and preferences ahead of the upcoming general elections.
In Kerala, sitting Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is once again contesting from Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency.
Few analysts had predicted a Congress sweep in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and the state remains fertile ground for yet another triumph for the grand old party. The CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front is making an all-out effort to capitalise on its local run while the BJP has fielded high-profile faces, including union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Congress veteran AK Antony’s son Anil Antony.
Kerala has 20 Lok Sabha seats and 140 assembly segments. The state boasts the highest voter turnout as compared to any other. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose BJP has launched an intensive campaign to woo southern voters this time, will be campaigning in the state on March 15 and 17. He will be holding a roadshow and public rally in Palakkad and Pathanamthitta.
The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF), which won 19 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in the 2019 general election, is independently contesting from INDIA component Left Democratic Front (LDF). The Congress has decided to field 14 of its 15 sitting MPs in the state, including Gandhi.
Others include Rajmohan Unnithan in Kasaragod, state Congress president K Sudhakaran in Kannur, Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Shashi Tharoor in Thiruvananthapuram, Hibi Eden in Ernakulam and state working president Kodikunnil Suresh in the SC seat Mavelikkara.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal will be contesting from Alappuzha, the only seat the party lost to the LDF in 2019. While the senior leader is a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, he is considered to be popular in this CPI(M) stronghold as he was elected from there in 2009 and 2014. He faces sitting MP AM Ariff of the LDF and BJP leader Sobha Surendran.
The Congress has made a strategic replacement in Thrissur, where a triangular contest is expected, fielding Vatakara MP K Muraleedharan, who is the son of late four-time chief minister K Karunakaran. Interestingly, his sister Padmaja Venugopal joined the BJP and is expected to campaign against him. He will be up against CPI leader and former agriculture minister VS Sunil Kumar and actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi of the BJP.
For Vatakara, meanwhile, the Congress has fielded former state youth president Shafi Parambil. He is the lone Muslim face among a total of 16 party candidates and will be up against CPM MLA and former health minister KK Shailaja.
The BJP’s high-profile candidate list includes union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar from Thiruvananthapuram, union minister V Muraleedharan from Attingal, actor Suresh Gopi from Thrissur, Anil K Antony from Pathanamthitta among others. The BJP has not announced any candidate for Wayanad, which is represented by Gandhi. The BJP expects this election to be a game-changer for the southern state when it comes to national politics.
With the prime minister’s upcoming visit, this is the fourth time he will be lending his support to the poll campaign in the state. He has tried to portray the Congress and the LDF as “enemies” of Kerala in his previous rallies, proposing the “double engine” model of development for the state’s welfare. In a bid to woo the minorities, he has also avoided topics such as the Uniform Civil Code, Citizenship Amendment Act, and criminalisation of triple talaq while campaigning in the state.
In the previous elections, the BJP increased its vote share by 14 percent in Kerala in the backdrop of the Sabarimala protests.
The Congress-led alliance swept the polls by winning 19 out of 20 seats with a 47.48 percent vote share, while the LDF was reduced to one seat with 36.29 percent vote share. While the BJP did not win any seat, it managed to increase its vote share to 15.64 percent.


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