Actor Suresh Gopi Secures BJP’s First Lok Sabha Seat in Kerala

Thrissur: In a landmark achievement for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), National award-winning actor Suresh Gopi has won the Thrissur Lok Sabha seat, marking the party’s first-ever parliamentary victory in Kerala. Despite the BJP falling short of the 272-seat majority in the 2017 Lok Sabha election, this victory signifies a significant gain in the state.

Gopi triumphed over VS Sunilkumar of the CPM and K Muraleedharan of the Congress by a margin of 74,686 votes. Although exit polls had suggested a win for Gopi, his opponents were skeptical. In the 2019 election, Gopi had finished third in the same constituency, losing to Congress’ TN Prathapan by 1.2 lakh votes. His 2021 attempt for the Thrissur Assembly seat also saw him finishing third, missing the mark by fewer than 4,000 votes.

Gopi’s focused efforts in Thrissur during his tenure in the Rajya Sabha from 2016 to 2022 appear to have borne fruit. However, his 2022 distribution of ‘kaineettam’—small monetary gifts—during the Vishu harvest festival stirred controversy as he handed out gifts from a car while people touched his feet for blessings. When criticized for this act, Gopi referred to his critics as an “army of irritating tadpoles.”

Further complicating his public image, a woman journalist recently lodged a harassment complaint against him, and a scandal erupted when Gopi and his family donated a golden crown to the Thrissur Cathedral.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who secured a historic but reduced-majority victory for a record-equalling third consecutive term, expressed gratitude to his allies Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu. Despite the exit polls’ incorrect prediction of a Modi majority, the opposition INDIA Bloc, led by Congress, is celebrating their unexpectedly strong performance.

This election has reshaped the political landscape, with Gopi’s victory heralding a new chapter for the BJP in Kerala.

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