Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 24,2024: Two visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi early this month to Thrissur has set tongues wagging here with speculators saying that may be the next PM is from Kerala.
With Rahul Gandhi all set to seek re-election from Kerala’s Wayanad, the murmur on PM Modi contesting from Thrissur has started to gain momentum.
Incidentally, Modi had first reached Thrissur in the first week of January to attend an all women mammoth rally and then came again last week to attend the wedding of actor Suresh Gopi’s daughter.
After the wedding, he went to a nearby Ram temple and then returned to Kochi.
The speculation of Modi contesting from Thrissur is also being linked to the luncheon meeting that he had with the Christian bishops and other prominent leaders from the community.
Incidentally, the Catholic Church at Thrissur is a very influential factor and has an important say when it comes to electoral politics, as it was legendary Congress leader K. Karunakaran who used the Church very effectively, though he lost the 1996 Lok Sabha polls by a slender margin of 1,480 votes.
Another matter of speculation that has now started taking the rounds, that Modi might be the BJP candidate from Thrissur is being seen from the incidents during and after the latest visits of Modi to Thrissur.
Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, in response to a question that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had received and gave a send off to PM Modi when he arrived last week at the Kochi airport, said, “It is a courtesy to do that when the Prime Minister comes visiting to a state. There is nothing wrong with that, but I am sure all of you would have seen the manner in which Vijayan was paying obeisance to Modi.
“Lot of things are often said about Vijayan and his tough demeanor, but those who have seen the way he was standing before Modi, eyebrows have been raised. Am sure all would have seen Vijayan’s uncharacteristic body language when he greeted and bid Modi goodbye at the airport,”.
Another point taking the rounds is that after the visit of PM Modi, the student protests by the SFI against Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan have also vanished. The address by Khan to the Kerala Assembly on Thursday has also been cleared, raising eyebrows of what the Congress party often says that “there is a secret pact between Modi and Vijayan”.
It was Congress Lok Sabha member K. Muraleedharan who first sounded that “Vijayan will go to any extent to make Modi happy and he wouldn’t even mind to ditch the CPI which contests the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat”.
Congress presently holds the Thrissur seat which was won by T.N. Prathapan and the CPI candidate came second trailing by around 90,000 votes, followed by actor Suresh Gopi.
With PM Modi expected to return to Kerala again soon, the speculation will grow that Modi will contest from Thrissur.