Wayanad:  The district of Wayanad in Kerala recorded one of the highest voter turnout - 67.35%. Polling began at 7 am for 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala on April 23. The exit polls predicted that the UDF will get more than half of the seats in Kerala, which is home to 20 Lok Sabha constituencies. The exit polls also predicted that NDA will open an account in Kerala by winning the Thiruvananthapuram seat.

Wayanad leaders also claimed that after 20 years, this is the first time where a vast voter turnout has been witnessed. Congress candidate Rahul Gandhi, NDA candidate Thushar Vellappally and CPI candidate PP Suneer are the key candidates from Wayanad. 

The campaign during Kerala’s 2019 Lok Sabha polls had undergone a sea change ever since the arrival of Congress president Rahul Gandhi as a contestant in the Wayanad segment. The RaGa effect has inadvertently helped the UDF a lot in most of the segments, particularly in the Malabar region. Even before RaGa play, the embers of the emotive Sabarimala issue, after an intense standoff  between the right wing groups and the LDF government in the state over the entry of young women into the famous shrine, was lying as campaign stock.

According to reports, the post-poll scenario in Malabar region covering Ponnani, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Vadakara, Kannur and Kasargod, a clean sweep is more or less certain for the UDF.  

Wayanad remains the epicentre of the UDF wave in northern Malabar with the entry of  Rahul Gandhi, whose landslide victory in the polls is a foregone conclusion. 

Wayanad consists of Mananthavady, Kalpetta, Sultan Bathery, Thiruvambady, Nilambur, Wandoor and Eranad Assembly constituencies. The place has been a Congress bastion since 2009, when late MP MI Shanavas won by a margin of 1 lakh votes. However, 2014 wasn't as much of a cakewalk with the margin less than 20,000.

The BJP sees an opportunity here, say analysts. While Congress must have thought of this is as a safe seat with little presence of the BJP and the Left, the lotus party has its eyes set on the 4,04,460 Hindus, who are part of the total population of 8,17,420.