Ground Report: How BJP made Ezhava voters sway right in Left bastion of Alappuzha

Ezhava voters, once the backbone of the CPI(M) in Kerala, shifted their allegiance to the BJP, shocking the Left. TNM looks at the factors that fuelled this political upheaval in the Left stronghold of Alappuzha.
Sobha Surendran
Sobha Surendran
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In the recently concluded general elections, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala was rattled by the shift in Ezhava votes in multiple constituencies including Attingal and Alappuzha, where candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made significant electoral strides. The voteshift was also one of the factors that helped actor Suresh Gopi win the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat.

For many decades Ezhavas, a powerful OBC group with many tall leaders who share the legacy of communist struggles, had been the backbone of the CPI(M). They are the  largest Hindu community in Kerala and constitute around 23% of the state’s population - a solid voter base that has ensured the victory of CPI(M) candidates in their strongholds.

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