The Congress party anxiety in Kerala increasing day-by-day. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Kerala was the only State in which the Congress party tally was in double digit. Otherwise in all other States tally of the Congress party was either in single digit or zero. In 2019 & 2014 Lok Sabha elections in thirteen States or Union Territories the Congress party drew blank in two successive polls. These States were Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Uttrakhand, Chandigarh, Tripura, Nagaland, Sikkim, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu and Ladakh. The Congress party won 31 out of 52 seats in 2019 from three States of Kerala, Punjab and Tamilnadu. Out of the Congress party 52 seats tally in 2019 the party won 15 seats from Kerala only which is 29 per cent of the Congress party tally in Lok Sabha.
In Kerala the Congress party is under rainbow coalition of United Democratic Front (UDF). While its main opponent is Left Democratic Front (LDF). Since 1982 the State dispensation is revolving between these these fronts barring in 2021 when the LDF bounced back under leadership of P Vijayan. As expected after 2021 Assembly poll verdict there is murmuring within the UDF. The second-largest party within the UDF the IUML (Indian Union Muslim League) is not so enthusiastic with the UDF as in the past. It is tossing its options outside the UDF too. Sensing that going alone in Kerala will be tough for IUML the party is also looking towards the LDF too.
Kerala is one of such states, like Assam, West Bengal and UT of Jammu and Kashmir, where the Muslim population is extremely important. In Kerala, 26.56 percent of population is Muslim, as per Census report. Its also a fact that IUML is the reason for the Muslims to vote for the Congress party and the UDF in State politics.
In 2019 Lok Sabha poll the Congress party fielded Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad besides his traditional seat of Amethi. The decision was correct as Rahul Gandhi lost his traditional seat but won from Wayanad LS seat. Wayand seat winning giving him several privileges as being an MP. Now again in 2024 LS poll its still uncertain whether Rahul Gandhi will contest from Amethi or not but it seems certain that he will contest from Wayanad.
Since in Wayanad Lok Sabha Muslims play an important role in deciding the winner. As per several estimates Wayanad has nearly 50 percent Muslim voters. So the role of IUML is crucial for Rahul Gandhi for Wayanad Lok Sabha Seat. Wayanad Lok Sabha like other seats of Kerala consists of seven assembly segments. Out of these seven assembly segments three seats fall within Malappuram district. Other three seats in Wayanad district while one seat is in Kozhikode. Malappuram district is stronghold of IUML. Malappuram district has nearly 70 percent Muslim population. So for Wayanand Lok Sabha seat Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party need support of IUML.
Under changed circumstances the IUML may put some new conditions to the Congress party within the UDF too. In 2019 Lok Sabha poll within the UDF the Congress party contested 16 seats while the IUML contested only two seats. The Congress party won 15 out of 16 contested seats while the IUML won two out of two seats. Now the IUML may demand more seats within the alliance.
But after 2019 Lok Sabha poll Kerala went to Assembly election in 2021. The Congress party performance in 2021 Assembly election was highly despicable. The Congress party contested on 93 assembly seats but won only 21 seats. While the IUML contested only on 25 assembly seats and won 15 seats. If we analyse the assembly wise performance of the Congress party and the IUML in 2019 Lok Sabha poll then we get that out of 112 assembly segments the Congress party took lead on 96 seats while the IUML established lead on all 14 assembly segments on which in contested. In 2019 LS poll Rahul Gandhi got 705034 votes which was 64.81 per cent of the polled votes. While in 2021 assembly poll the INC/UDF vote came down to 521825 which is 27 per cent less than the INC LS vote tally. This is the popularity test of Rahul Gandhi.
So in seat sharing within UDF in Kerala there is likely to be much hue and cry. The IUML and other UDF allies will try to grab more seats from the Congress party considering such miserable performance in 2021 Assembly elections. The IUML will try to take maximum advantage of Congress party and Rahul Gandhi’s compulsion to contest from Wayanad.