With a lotus in hand, O Rajagopal has pushed opened the door to Kerala assembly for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). And it's no mean feat, given the 'outcast' status that all political players in the state have tried to label the BJP with.
Both the Left and the Congress have doggedly propagated and projected the BJP in Kerala as 'saffron', 'Hindu' and 'communal', and have achieved success all these years before the electorate of Nemon chose to think differently and send Rajettan, as Rajagopal is lovingly called, to the Kerala Assembly.
An elated Rajagopal said, “The surge in Kerala will now begin.”
"AK Antony ridiculed us by saying that the BJP will have to take a visitor's pass to the assembly and take its seat in the visitors' gallery," he said.
State Bharatiya Janata Party chief Kummanam Rajasekharan, who lost from Vattiyoorkavu tweeted: "We are entering Kerala Assembly. Dedicating this feat to the efforts of our Karyakartas, memories of our Balidanis and faith cast by voters."
Kerala has always been an enigma for the BJP. Despite having a strong cadre base – including that of the RSS, the poll arithmetic has been such that it was always ended up on the losing side.
Many factors and actors colluded to keep it out of the state assembly.
In a state where minorities form 50% of the population and of the remaining 'Hindus', a sizable percentage avowing their commitment to the 'atheist' ideology of the Communist movement, there have not been many admirers of the Hindutva ideology of the BJP.
But things started to change over the last few years and this affiliation to the BJP gained momentum with the advent of the Narendra Modi era in Delhi, culminating the victory of Rajagopal in Nemon.
Also, the BJP has long alleged that the Congress and the Left resort to cross-voting whenever they feel that the BJP has a strong chance of winning the seat. So the Congress and Left will transfer their votes in specific constituencies on an as-and-when basis to deny the lotus a chance to bloom.
Rajagopal's victory is also historic in the sense that he has been all along the most acceptable face of the BJP in Kerala. The former union minister in the Vajpayee cabinet – he had entered the Parliament via the Rajya Sabha - contested six elections in his decades’ long career and each time faced defeat, till today.
A staunch devotee of Mata Amritanandmayi, Rajagopal has now entered the history books as the first ever BJP MLA in Kerala... and in him rests the responsibility of carving BJP's future in Kerala.