Congress Leader K.C. Venugopal Campaigns in Kerala Amid Rivalry with CPI(M)

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Kerala showcase the complex political dynamics, where bitter rivals at the state level cooperate nationally to challenge the BJP. The outcome could significantly impact the opposition alliance against the ruling party.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Congress Leader K.C. Venugopal Campaigns in Kerala Amid Rivalry with CPI(M)

Congress Leader K.C. Venugopal Campaigns in Kerala Amid Rivalry with CPI(M)

Congress leader K.C. Venugopal campaigned in Alappuzha, Kerala, amid a bitter rivalry with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] in the state, while cooperating nationally against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The second phase of voting in the Lok Sabha election is scheduled for April 26, with 89 parliamentary constituencies across 13 states participating.

Political parties have intensified their poll campaigns, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticizing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Home Minister Amit Shah scheduled to address a public meeting in West Bengal's Darjeeling, though it may be cancelled due to bad weather. The Congress has claimed an 'undercurrent' in favor of the INDIA bloc, while PM Modi expressed confidence in the BJP's vote share increasing in South India compared to previous general elections.

K.C. Venugopal, who has been involved in electoral battles for over five decades, is now facing a unique contest as he tries to win the lone seat that the CPI(M) had won in Kerala in 2019. Despite the fierce competition between the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the state, the two parties are united in their efforts to defeat the BJP at the national level.

Why this matters: The 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Kerala highlight the complex political dynamics in the state, where bitter rivals at the state level are cooperating nationally to challenge the ruling BJP. The outcome of these elections could have significant implications for the balance of power in the Indian Parliament and the future of the opposition alliance against the BJP.

Venugopal, who is the General Secretary Organisation (GSO) of the Congress, is dividing his time between national affairs and the local campaign. The CPI(M)'s John Britas has criticized Venugopal and Rahul Gandhi for contesting in Kerala, arguing that it goes against the spirit of unity against the BJP. However, both Venugopal and Britas agree that facing off in Kerala and cooperating elsewhere is a natural part of Kerala's unique politics, which is aimed at keeping the BJP out of the state.

Key Takeaways

  • Congress and CPI(M) rivals in Kerala, but united against BJP nationally in 2024 polls.
  • 2nd phase of 2024 Lok Sabha polls on April 26, with 89 constituencies across 13 states.
  • PM Modi confident of BJP's vote share increase in South India, Congress claims 'undercurrent' for INDIA bloc.
  • Congress leader K.C. Venugopal faces unique contest against CPI(M) in Kerala's lone seat they won in 2019.
  • Outcome of Kerala polls could impact balance of power in Indian Parliament and opposition unity against BJP.