Results of the Kerala local body elections are just out. It’s the Left again. But what is next? It is the best time to discuss who will win the upcoming Kerala Assembly elections in 2021. The 2021 Assembly poll of Kerala is just a few months away. Therefore, we’ll talk about right from the stakes of political parties, contesting seats, promising contenders, alliances and all other issues.
The local body election in the southern state is considered a precursor of the Assembly elections due to be held in 2021.https://t.co/Unx1mEb5At
— India TV (@indiatvnews) December 16, 2020
Who will win Kerala Elections? All details about 2021 Legislative Assembly polls
In this article, we shall touch upon the background of Kerala political scenario. Which are the major political parties and alliances in Kerala that can perform well in the 2021 Assembly polls? Can BJP increase its seat count in the next year’s poll in God’s Own Country?
1. When will the Kerala Assembly Elections happen in 2021? Here’s the schedule
The 2021 Kerala Legislative Assembly Elections will take place in April or May. However, due to the pandemic still on, some changes in the schedule might occur. This is for the 15th Kerala Legislative Assembly. There will be a total of 140 MLAs or legislators in the Assembly of Kerala.
2. What happened in the 2016 Kerala poll: A recap
On June 1, 2021, the term of the 14th Kerala Legislative Assembly will expire. So, if we look at the last Assembly elections in 2016, the Left Democratic Front won the poll. The party bagged two-thirds of the total seats. They defeated the United Democratic Front which the Congress party had led in that election. The UDF could manage only 47 seats.
The Centre’s ruling BJP won one seat. The remaining seat was won by an independent, who later formed the party Kerala Janapaksham (Secular). The Jose faction which had developed within Kerala Congress (M) got suspended from UDF for internal groupism in 2020, and later joined LDF. Another major change that occurred after 2016 was the entry of Loktantrik Janata Dal and the Indian National League into LDF.
Major political parties & alliances of Kerala
Kerala is known for a long as the bastion of the Left. But can they retain the power after 2021 Assembly poll? Here are the main parties in the fray for the upcoming elections.
It is a coalition of left-wing political parties that is led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). This is one of the two major political alliances in Kerala. The LDF is currently in power. Pinarayi Vijayan is the chief minister of the state The coalition consists of CPI(M), CPI, and a variety of other smaller parties.
This is an alliance of center-left political parties led by the Congress. The LDF and the UDF are the two major political parties in the state. These two coalitions will fight to win power in the 2021 Assembly poll.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by BJP is a coalition of right-wing parties. NDA Kerala unit was constituted in 2016, which is a coalition of right-wing political parties in the state. NDA Kerala unit was constituted in 2016.
3. What is the background of the 2021 Kerala poll? Who will win Kerala elections?
Kerala has always been a state of various dichotomies. The state has an abundance of water and green cover of forests. However, Kerala still has to import its food from neighbouring states. Also, despite having one of the highest literacy rates in the country, it also has one of the largest unemployment rates in India. The state is also one of India’s leading recruiting regions for terror organisations like ISIS.
Kerala has a straightforward political history. Since the 1980s, the UDF and the LDF have alternated in power each time polls took place. Though some regional players switch sides based on the direction the winds, the major political formations mostly is the same. Icons of both formations ranging from K Karunakaran and Oomen Chandy of the UDF to EK Nayanar and VS Achuthanandan of the LDF have failed to overcome the anti-incumbency albatross – although the latter did come devastatingly close around a decade ago.
4. Pinarayi Vijayan: Can he manage another win in 2021 election
Just a few months ago, political analysts thought that Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan would ensure another win in the Assembly polls which are slated to happen next year. Vijayan – who had faced the wrath of voters over the Sabarimala issue in the general election, which turned out to be a humiliating route for his alliance – somehow regained his clout.
Just nine months for Kerala Assembly election….along with Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Manipur in May 2021..Gold smuggling controversy got a boost for Opposition Congress in Kerala. BJP also trying for chance to increase number of MLAs. So all Lockdown norms fizzled out https://t.co/8KUS2raArB
— J Gopikrishnan (@jgopikrishnan70) July 10, 2020
The Kannur strongman had built his political resurgence on the back of a tremendously effective PR-drive, built around the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, things again went uncertain in July when the news broke of the CM office’s alleged involvement in a gold smuggling scam. The scam involved a woman – Swapna Suresh, an ex-UAE consulate employee and state IT department consultant, with close links to the CM’s principal secretary.
No doubt the investigation has been extremely embarrassing for the CM as one skeleton after another came out of the LDF government’s closet. ED arrested his principal secretary. Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of the powerful Kerala CPI(M) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, all faced arrest in a drug-related case. Besides, Kerala’s daily Covid-19 cases also rose alarmingly. The CM started losing his popularity as a great administrator. If not Pinarayi, then who will win Kerala elections.
Despite all the drawbacks of the Pinarayi government, political pundits cannot predict any major swerve in favour of the Congress-led opposition. Why?
5. Can Cong-led UDF topple Pinarayi govt?
This seems to be a distant dream for Congress. Firstly, the party is still struggling to prop up a face who can combat Pinarayi. The Congress must alternate its CM candidates between the Nair caste and the Christian community. Oommen Chandy was the previous CM. So the expectation is that the next will be a Nair. However, it is still unsure whether the current Leader of Opposition, Ramesh Chennithala, can fight against Pinarayi for the CM spot.
Secondly, there has been ambiguity around voting inclination of the Muslim community in the state. Both alliances have worked hard to appease the community over the past 5 years but in traditional circumstances, such an election would have seen a consolidation towards the Congress. In the last general poll, Rahul Gandhi decided to contest from Wayanad and consolidated the Muslim vote entirely for the UDF. But can he repeat it in the Assembly polls? It remains to be seen.
And finally, the BJP is growing continuously in Kerala. The Nair community, a huge chunk of voters who historically leant towards the Congress, are shifting to the saffron party. The UDF may face a challenge if the BJP splits the anti-incumbency vote and gives Pinarayi a second term. It is still not sure who will the Kerala elections for the Congress.
6. The rise of the BJP in Kerala
The BJP is looking for paths to grow in the state. It is currently courting the LDF-favouring OBC community heavily. The BJP knows that any growth into that segment will mostly come at the expense of the LDF.
We were able to retain Palakkad municipality with full majority and win in Pandalam. Even in Trivandrum Congress tally has gone down from 21 to 9 seats. The Congress party is on a terminal decline. The assembly elections will be a contest between CPI(M) and the BJP.
— K Surendran (@surendranbjp) December 16, 2020
Also, the ruling and the opposition are both trying to appease the minority communities in the state. As a result, the Hindu community has relentlessly ceded its own cultural space. The high handedness with which Pinarayi handled the Sabarimala issue was a reflection of the state’s political thinking – that they could use the desecration of Hindu beliefs to signal minority voting blocs without inviting any backlash from the majority. The Hindus allege that Kerala – the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya and home of some of the most beautiful temples in the country – has been reduced to the land of ‘aromatic beef’ and Mercedes-driving Communists.
Since both Left and the Congress reduced to the margins nationally, a defeat in the upcoming state elections has the potential to trigger mass migrations of the loser’s voting blocs towards the BJP. However, the BJP cannot ensure a win single-handedly. They have to choose its ally carefully to grow further in the state. All these three developments have made the Kerala political scenario an unusually complex one. It remains to be seen who will win Kerala elections. As with most political complexities, the cause here has social underpinnings. The past few decades have seen an upheaval in the societal ethos of Kerala. The coming Assembly polls promise to be like no other the state has seen for a very long time.