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Shashi Tharoor Secures Historic Fourth Term in Thiruvananthapuram Defeats Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

In a significant victory for the Indian National Congress, incumbent Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor has secured the Thiruvananthapuram seat for the fourth consecutive term, affirming his stronghold in this crucial constituency during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Tharoor, contesting on a Congress ticket, managed to outshine his closest rival, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), by a margin of 16,077 votes.

Tharoor, who has become a household name both within and outside political circles due to his eloquence and social media presence, garnered a total of 358,155 votes. On the contrary, his opponent, Chandrasekhar, who was seen as a formidable candidate owing to his ministerial status and influence, could only muster 342,078 votes. This victory not only highlights Tharoor’s consistent popularity among the electorate but also poses questions about the BJP’s strategy and outreach in the southern state of Kerala.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Tharoor had also emerged victorious with a substantial lead, securing 416,131 votes. During that election, BJP’s Kummanam Rajasekharan was the runner-up, managing 316,142 votes. The consistent win by Tharoor by significant margins indicates a strong and loyal voter base in Thiruvananthapuram, which the Congress has been able to maintain despite the changing political climate in India.

Tharoor’s victory has been celebrated among Congress supporters as a testament to the party’s enduring appeal in Kerala, a state that has often swung between the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF). Tharoor’s academic background, eloquence, and visible commitments to his constituency have played a pivotal role in his repeated successes. His ability to stay connected with his voters through various platforms, including social media, town halls, and local meetings, has set him apart from many of his contemporaries.

On the other hand, the defeat of Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, despite an aggressive campaign strategy, reflects the challenges that the BJP faces in making significant inroads in Kerala. Known for his business acumen and influential position in the central government, Chandrasekhar’s candidacy was expected to give a tough fight to Tharoor.

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. However, the results indicate that the BJP’s traditional voter base in the state remains limited compared to the Congress and Left fronts.

Political analysts suggest that Tharoor’s consistent advocacy for local issues, such as the development of infrastructure, better public services, and educational opportunities, has solidified his image as a dependable and effective representative. His efforts to address concerns related to the environment and heritage conservation in Thiruvananthapuram have also resonated well with the electorate, particularly the younger demographic.

Furthermore, Tharoor’s national and international profile, including his tenure at the United Nations and his prolific writing career, have added to his appeal. His reputation as a global thinker and a local doer seems to have struck a chord with his constituents, who see him as a bridge between Kerala’s needs and global opportunities.

In light of this victory, the Congress Party is likely to focus on replicating Tharoor’s model of constituency engagement and voter interaction in other parts of the country. As the party looks forward to rebuilding its presence on the national stage, victories like Tharoor’s in Thiruvananthapuram are crucial.

Conversely, the BJP will need to reassess its approach in Kerala. Despite significant efforts and campaigns, the results suggest that capturing the hearts and minds of Kerala’s electorate will require a more localized strategy that resonates with the unique socio-cultural fabric of the state. The party will have to evaluate why high-profile candidates have struggled and what steps can be taken to strengthen its position in future elections.

As the dust settles on this fiercely contested seat, Tharoor’s victory is a reminder of the importance of personal connection, consistent advocacy, and strategic communication in Indian politics. It also showcases how traditional bastions can be maintained despite the overarching waves of political change sweeping across the country. The Thiruvananthapuram electorate has once again placed its trust in Shashi Tharoor, setting the stage for his continued representation and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.