It’s not often that a candidate who is contesting the elections comes out and says that the opposing candidate might win, but that’s what TN Prathapan, the United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate from the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat did on Tuesday. In a surprising statement, Prathapan said he fears that he may lose the elections to NDA’s candidate Suresh Gopi, who is also a popular actor in the Malayalam film industry.
According to a report by Deccan Chronicle (DC), the UDF candidate expressed his concerns at the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, taking the Congress leaders by surprise. Prathapan fears that a certain section of the traditional UDF supporters would have voted for Suresh Gopi because of the Sabarimala issue.
As per the DC report, Prathapan said that the UDF would have won with a huge margin in Thrissur had Thushar Vellappally been the NDA candidate, instead of Suresh Gopi. Thushar was in fact NDA’s first choice to contest from Thrissur, but he was later made to contest from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.
“Suresh Gopi’s candidature adversely affected my prospects. I understand that there was a division of Hindu votes and the traditional Hindu votes of the UDF went in favour of the NDA candidate,” the UDF candidate was quoted to have said during the KPCC meeting.
However, according to a report by the Times of India (TOI), All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Oommen Chandy rejected Prathapan’s claims and stated that Thrissur is one among the top four seats of the party which they are hopeful of winning.
Meanwhile VK Sreekandan and MK Raghavan, the UDF candidates from Palakkad and Kozhikode remained silent in the meeting, despite complaining earlier that they were not happy with the support given by District Congress Committees for their election campaigns. As per the TOI report, this was because the senior leadership of the KPCC had made it clear that it was not proper to discuss the complaints in the meeting and urged leaders to discuss all of it post the results.