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Lok Saba Elections 2024 | Kerala's cultural capital witnesses actor-turned politician creating history

Thrissur is popularly known as the cultural capital of Kerala and, incidentally, the one who created history for the saffron party is an actor-turned politician, Suresh Gopi.
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 14:18 IST
Last Updated : 04 June 2024, 14:18 IST

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Thiruvananthapuram: The central Kerala constituency of Thrissur has become part of history as BJP won the maiden seat to the Lok Sabha from here.

Thrissur is popularly known as the cultural capital of Kerala and, incidentally, the one who created history for the saffron party is an actor-turned politician, Suresh Gopi.

Gopi, who is 65, is a popular actor who enjoyed stardom and even won the national award for best actor in 1998. He has his roots at Kollam district in south Kerala. Though he started his acting career in childhood, he grabbed much attention from the 1980s. Apart from Malayalam, he acted in other south Indian films too.

Gopi's entry into active politics by joining the BJP in 2016 was quite surprising as he had earlier worked for the CPI(M) and the Congress. BJP made him a Rajya Sabha member in 2016.

In 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2021 Assembly elections Gopi contested from Thrissur. Though he emerged in third place only, BJP's vote share made major leaps of 12 to 17 percent. Gopi also maintained a good rapport with Thrissur by getting involved in various issues in the districts and carrying out humanitarian activities.He also made inroads into the crucial Christian vote banks by various acts like giving a golden crown as offering to the Our Lady of Lourdes metropolitan cathedral in Thrissur in January.

Hence Gopi was the undisputed candidate of BJP at Thrissur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a roadshow for him at Thrissur and even attended his daughter's wedding at the famed Guruvayur temple.

Thrissur had been so far witnessing  CPI and Congress candidates winning the LS elections one after the other. 

It was a last minute decision  of the Congress to field Congress leader K Muraleedharan, who is the son of former chief minister K Karunakaran, at Thrissur this time. Muraleedharan had  commenced election work at his sitting seat Vadakara in north Kerala and sitting MP T N Prathapan had begun work at Thrissur.

But the Congress suffered a shock when Muraleedharan's sister Padmaja joined the BJP. Hence the Congress fielded Muraleedharan at Thrissur with the hopes of plugging any flow of Congress votes to BJP.  

Congress state leadership stated that there reasons for Muraleedharan's victory need to be examined in detail.

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Published 04 June 2024, 14:18 IST

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