With the Narendra Modi factor growing stronger, there is likely to be a consolidation of the minority Christian and Muslim votes behind the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).
To cash in on the situation, many of the UDF candidates have coined a pet slogan – 'a vote against Modi, a vote for secularism'. Minority votes could help the ruling UDF tide over the anti-incumbency factor.
In most of the opinion polls in Kerala, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been rated as the most suitable candidate for the prime minister's post.
The Muslim League has given a call to the community members to defeat what it called 'a fascist and divisive Narendra Modi'. Though the BJP is a distant third in the state, UDF leaders are attacking Modi, eyeing the Muslim votes, which can influence the outcome in at least six of the 20 constituencies of the state.
Defence minister AK Antony has topped the list.
But, a leader of Sunni faction, Kanthapuram Abubaker Musaliar, had called on Modi, much to the discomfort of many. He had also pitched for conscience vote.
The CPI (M) is also eyeing a share of Muslim votes, fielding two Muslim candidates and supporting one independent.
Muslim candidates in the fray
1. T Siddique (Congress), Kasrakkode
2. MI Shahnawas (Congress), Wayanad
3. ET Muhamed Bahseer (Muslim League), Ponnani
4. E Ahmed (Muslim League), Malappuram
5. NM Shamseer (CPM), Vatakara
6. PK Sainaba (CPM), Malappuram
7. Abdul Rehman (CPM-backed independent), Ponnani