Ten Reasons Why Dr Shashi Tharoor Won from Trivandrum
Long wait is over. Dr Shashi Tharoor, Congress candidate from Trivandrum won by a margin of 100,043 votes. No other candidate in the recent past has won with such a high majority from this constituency. Dr Tharoor was a complete stranger to the people of Trivandrum when his candidature was announced by Congress High Command. The congress leaders were not happy, workers were not enthusiastic and all poll pundits were sure of his loss . So in less than three weeks what made Dr Tharoor darling of Trivandrum voters?
1. Dr Tharoor’s Charisma
Trivandrum people have never seen such a charismatic person as their candidate in their life. The shift of Dr Tharoor from a diplomat to a next door politician was great. His charisma combined with his God given oratory skills made common man think that unlike other politicians they have elected till now, he will fulfill some of the promises if he gets elected. They found a kind of sincerity and difference in every word he spoke. This was not there with any other candidate who talked the normal stuff we hear during election time. Thus the people of Trivandrum decided to vote for a charismatic leader whom they thought would be sincere to their needs and can make a difference in their life.
2. Effect of Neutral Voters
If some one asks me the decisive force in Trivandrum constituency I will tell it is the neutral voters. Some people will say it is the Nadars or Nairs or something like that but the real decisive force in Trivandrum is its neutral voters. These neutral voters vote based on the political climate and also on the merits of the candidate. In 2004 majority of the neutral voters voted for BJP candidate Rajagopal in appreciation of his good work as Railway Minister and other neutral voters voted for PK Vasudevan Nair (PKV) resulting in a victory for PKV and BJP for the first time polled over 2 lakh votes. Some BJP leaders and supporters mistook that as BJP votes. I believe the 80,000 odd votes BJP got this time is the vote of true supporters of BJP. In this election the 99% of the neutral voters voted enthusiastically for Dr Tharoor and this is one of the main factors contributing to his victory.
3. Lack of Development
The issues that usually get raised during an election time in Trivandrum remained unchanged for the last 25 years at least - the High Court Bench, Vizhinjam Port and so on. The politicians who have won and gone to Indian Parliament from Trivandrum never did any thing to solve these issues. So it is natural for the people to look beyond politics and this time they have a diplomat turned politician contesting and they elected him with the hope that he will do something for the development of the constituency.
4. Presence of Dr Neelan as BSP candidate
The presence of Neelan is always going to help Congress candidate. The best example is the last assembly elections. Neelan contested as an independent in Kovalam constituency and came second and majority of the votes he got were that of LDF. The result of his candidature – even though there was a wave against Congress and UDF, Congress candidate won and the LDF candidate came third. This time also this trend has repeated. Majority of the people who voted for Neelan could have voted for LDF if BSP was not contesting and this is also a reason for this massive victory for Dr Tharoor.
5. CPI(M) – CPI rift
We may hear about this in coming days as LDF starts the process of “studying” the reasons for their massive loss. Typically during an election time in Trivandrum the LDF workers will come to the house at least 3 times from the day elections are announced to the day the polling take place. There is lot of places in Trivandrum constituency including my house where the LDF workers never came this time. LDF workers means the CPI(M) workers as CPI is totally dependent on CPI(M) for the election work. So what does that mean? Doesn’t that mean CPI(M) froze their election work in the grass root? I believe so and this is another reason why Dr Tharoor won with a thumping victory.
6. Unity in Congress Party
The day Dr Tharoor landed in Trivandrum as Congress candidate the whole congress party in Trivandrum was furious with his candidature. As the election campaign progressed Dr Tharoor was able to muster the support of all the leaders of the Congress party and the day of voting all the Congress leaders and workers were putting on an extra effort to garner maximum votes for Dr Tharoor. May be, working as a diplomat in UN for all these years helped him to turn his foes into good friends. Whatever it is, Congress party in Trivandrum was never this united for any election in my memory and is another reason for Dr Tharoor getting over 1 lakh majority.
7. Anger against CPI(M) leadership
This was another factor lead to the victory of all the UDF candidates. The CPI(M) leadership is now in the hands of the various mafias and people have shown their anger towards the leadership by voting against the CPI(M).
8. VS Achuthanandhan Factor
Trivandrum constituency is a place where Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandhan has a lot of supporters and it is a known fact that VS and his supporters wanted to see an heavy loss to CPI(M) and to its general secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan. There is a good chance that they may have froze their votes or voted for the Congress candidate.
9. PDP Factor
This one was visible in all constituencies – CPI (M) leadership taking support from PDP and sharing stage with its leader Abdul Nasar Madhani. This made the traditional LDF supporters from either refrain from voting or to cast their vote in favor of UDF to teach LDF and in particular CPI (M) a lesson.
10. Anti-incumbency factor
This factor was there in all the constituencies though not a major factor in determining the election outcome. The day to day functioning of the government was affected by the infighting between the various groups in CPI(M) and people are fed up with that. This also has contributed to the victory of all UDF candidates including Dr Tharoor.
Dr Tharoor has won and I believe the real work is going to start for him now to keep all his promises like making Trivandrum a global city and High court bench in Kerala etc. He has given the people of Trivandrum tons of hope and I wish him all the best to fulfill all his election promise.
Nikhil has written a nice article analyzing the election results of Trivandrum. Click here to read that.
Labels: Congress, CPI(M), Current Affairs, elections 2009, India, Indian Politics, LDF, Pinarayi Vijayan, Politics, Shashi Tharoor, UDF, V S Achuthanandan