Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Religions in Kerala and BJP chances


See this as a reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Kerala . Interesting to notice that though the Hindu population in 2001 was abt 56% and Muslim 24% , with "children below 6" figures for these two religions being already (in 2001 itself) closer to 50% for Hindus and 31% for Muslims, and given that the "children born per woman" rate is almost twice for Muslims as compared to Hindus, it is quite clear that Kerala will, in a matter of few generations, become a Muslim majority state .  Already 2 of the 14 districts are Muslim majority (one with ~80%)
Anyways, just saw a news item that BJP has declared its candidates for Kerala http://www.mathrubhumi.com/story.php?id=431287 . Not sure if its official yet, but assuming so, here is some quick "fightable" seats

1) With Syrian Christians almost 50% in Pathanamthitta looks like BJP is eyeing that by fielding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphons_Kannanthanam (a Syrian christian, IAS, was once independent MLA with Communist support) and wooing Christians http://www.firstpost.com/politics/the-parrikar-model-why-modi-is-reaching-out-to-keralas-syrian-christians-1382099.html  . Well, BJP has 'nothing to lose' .. but then I guess both UDF and LDF too will field candidates from the same community and then it will be interesting to watch

The other districts with the Syrian christian community in significant numbers are Kottayam, Idukki and Thrissur in that order, but I guess unless BJP fields a person from that community, they will not get much votes from Syrian Christians. In fact the whole point of suppporting - or making it so appear - Alphons, may be to ensure some sort of representation, in case NDA gets to power.. well, yet again, BJP has 'nothing to lose'.


2)  Thiruvananthapuram - fielding Rajagopal,  BJP must be hoping to improve on its 2004 performance, where CPI won with 37.45% , congress came second with 30.30 and BJP a 'close third' with 29.86 . Ezhava/SC leaders have shared stage to Narendra Modi, but its not clear if that would be a factor.  If either Congress or CPI decide to "sell some votes" to the other side to make sure BJP doesn't open its account in Kerala, it will be tough for the BJP. It is more likely that Congress will sell it to CPI as their sitting MP Shashi Tharoor is likely to migrate outside kerala, and this is one of the few seats that CPI is offered by its big brother CPM and they would not want to lose it

3) Kasargode -I guess won always by CPM since 1989 ..   In 2009 BJPs vote share was just one-third of the winning candidates http://keralaassembly.org/lok/sabha/poll_results.php4?year=2009&no=1 ..  and this is perhaps the third most 'hopeful' constituency for BJP in Kerala !

So that more or less shows the situation that BJP is in Kerala.. At best 2 likely seats, and I see the chances of that at 10%, and chances of winning at least 1 seat, at 25% . Yet, I think this election will be for BJP to assert itself.. that it is still a force - however small - in Kerala, and to show that the cadre is solidly behind Modi. 









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