Riding on star power, how Suresh Gopi scripted BJP history in Kerala | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Riding on star power, how Suresh Gopi scripted BJP history in Kerala

Jun 05, 2024 11:22 AM IST

Suresh Gopi, on whom the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shown much hope, did not disappoint as he became the saffron party’s first elected MP from the southern state

Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi on Tuesday scripted history for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala after the latter opened its electoral account in the state.

Gopi received 4,12,338 votes, defeating CPI’s VS Sunil Kumar (3,37,652 votes) by a margin of 74,686 votes. (PTI photo)
Gopi received 4,12,338 votes, defeating CPI’s VS Sunil Kumar (3,37,652 votes) by a margin of 74,686 votes. (PTI photo)

Gopi gifted the party its first-ever victory in the parliamentary seat in Kerala.

Gopi received 4,12,338 votes, defeating CPI’s VS Sunil Kumar (3,37,652 votes) by a margin of 74,686 votes, data in the Election Commission of India (ECI) said.

Congress candidate K Muraleedharan, who was shifted by his party from his incumbent seat of Vatakara to Thrissur in a strategic move to counter Gopi, finished third by getting 3,28,124 votes.

While the BJP got 37.8% votes, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) received 30.95% and 30.08% votes respectively.

Also Read: Who is Suresh Gopi? 5 things to know about BJP’s star in Kerala’s Thrissur constituency

Gopi’s debut win for BJP in Kerala was a result of a combination of factors.

His star prowess given his long innings in the Malayalam film industry, support of women voters and a section of voters from the minority community enabled him to eke out the victory with a comfortable margin.

Gopi’s rapport with PM Narendra Modi and the party’s organisaional strengthening over the past five years also helped his cause.

“Everyone saw how the PM came all the way to Thrissur to attend the wedding of the daughter of Suresh Gopi and the rapport they enjoy. Obviously, it’s a big thing. Gopi is also a very known face among the public in Kerala and enjoys influence especially among the women voters who have enjoyed his films over the years,” said Sunnykutty Abraham, a political analyst and writer.

Gopi, who starred in over 250 Malayalam films, first made a mark in Thrissur when he contested the 2019 polls.

Though he came third in that contest, he was able to take the BJP’s vote-share from 11% to over 28%.

Two years later, he fought the assembly elections from Thrissur only to end up again in third spot but was able to give fierce competition to both LDF and UDF rivals.

Gopi, who joined the BJP in 2016 at the insistence of PM Modi, stuck to his base in Thrissur despite the defeats.

After his victory on Tuesday, Gopi said that he remains indebted to people who voted for him.

“These secular voters have not looked through the lens of caste or political affiliation. There were many attempts by several sections of people to misguide the secular voters. They have even wounded my soul to force me to withdraw from the contest. God has blessed me with this victory as an answer to them,” he said.

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