Anyone who has followed an election campaigns in Kerala will have no qualms saying that the Thrikkakara bypoll will go down as one of the most blistering campaign seen in the state in recent history.
This constituency, since its inception in 2011, has been a strong citadel of Congress which has made a hat trick of wins and the present election became a necessity after the sudden demise of two-time Thrikkakara legislator and Congress veteran P.T. Thomas.
The tag line of the CPI-M-led Left campaign by none other than Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, is they wish to hit a century of legislators in the 140-member Kerala Assembly.
The Left sprang a surprise by fielding Joe Joseph, an interventional cardiologist practising at a private hospital here, after Congress brought in the widow of Thomas (Uma Thomas), while BJP also has put up a party veteran A.N. Radhakrishnan.
For Vijayan, who is known in the party circles as Captain Pinarayi, if he manages to stage an upset similar to what he did by retaining power in the April 2021 assembly polls, then his status from Captain Pinarayi will be upgraded to General Pinarayi.
But with the Congress-led UDF knowing very well that if they are unable to stop Vijayan at Thrikkakara, then it is going to be curtains down for the grand old party in Kerala, which has been shattered after losing the 2021 assembly polls.
And none other than Congress veteran A.K. Antony who has returned home after his long Delhi sojourn on Friday, asked the electorate at Thrikkakara that it is high time a shock treatment is handed to Vijayan as in case the Left candidate wins, then his arrogance will become manifold and will do no good to Kerala and the people.
As Congress is hoping against hope that Thomas, who won with a margin of over 15,000 votes in April 2021, when the Vijayan wave swept through the state, Congress will be able to evoke the sympathy factor and Uma will win with a margin of over 20,000 votes.
With just one more day for the campaign to end, the entire cabinet of Vijayan is stay put at Thrikkakara and is embarking on a campaign by trying to meet each and every voter, and fully immersed in the campaign, they are getting confident and the latest news coming from the Left camp is that Joseph will win with a margin of around 4,000 votes.
BJP veteran Radhakrishnan is also brimming with confidence that he is going to create a big surprise and the only question is if he will be able to better his around 15,000 votes that his party candidate got last year.
Even though the Vijayan camp started with the campaign of development riding on the controversial K-Rail, his pet project, after realising that things are not conducive, slowly left it out and moved to other things and the latest issue they are taking up is a video which surfaced portraying their candidate in poor light.
Soon the Left campaign managers’ tongues wagged that this is the doing of Congress-led UDF as a sign of having accepted defeat even before the voting.
“It’s most unfortunate that the top UDF leaders have not condemned it and this shows their mindset,” said State Industries Minister P. Rajeev.
But Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan hit back by saying that the cat will be out of the bag if the police take into custody the person who has made this video, as now, they have only arrested those who have shared it.
“If the police arrest the maker of this video, things will go topsy-turvy,” said Satheesan.
The public campaign will end in the constituency on Sunday and after that all those leaders who do not belong to the constituency have to make their way out.
Voting will take place on Tuesday, counting of votes on Friday and by 10 a.m, the results will be known. Until then all the three political fronts can remain hopeful.