A five-cornered fight on the cards in Kochi

LDF candidate K.J. Maxy holding his portrait during the campaign in Kochi.  

Entering the Kochi Assembly constituency, one gets the impression of an electoral bullring with all conceivable space being consumed by campaign materials.

Quite unsurprising for a constituency, a rare one across the State to witness a five-cornered contest with the relatively new apolitical outfits, Twenty20 and V4 People, also throwing their hats in the ring along with the three major fronts.

As the battle gets intense, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to win it.

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate and former Mayor Tony Chammany could be seen wielding a long knife to slice a piece of meat at an abattoir along Statue Road at Fort Kochi during the course of his campaign. “Unlike the last election, the UDF is a united front, and we are expecting a victory margin of not less than 15,000 votes. The deep sea fishing scam has a resonance in coastal areas so as the current incumbent’s failure to build seawalls and breakwaters to stop sea erosion,” said an upbeat Mr. Chammany taking a break after the door-to-door campaign.

Notwithstanding his marginal victory in the last election, taking advantage of the division in the UDF camp, Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate K.J. Maxy exuded confidence of a second win on the trot on the strength of his work. “We don’t need a divided UDF to guarantee victory. Besides, Twenty20 and V4 People will largely eat into their votes to our advantage,” he said wrapping up his campaign at Thoppumpady.

Some 10 km away at Puthanthodu along coastal Kannamaly, BJP candidate C.G. Rajagopal emerged fully drenched after staging a protest in the sea against the absence of seawall, a long-standing demand of the coastal people. “Neither the LDF nor UDF could resolve basic issues, and there has been no drinking water supply in the West Kochi area for some days now. This time, we have been able to reach out to the minority sections as well,” he said.

Twenty20 candidate Shiny Antony banks on the Kizhakkamabalam model development and corruption-free governance in her campaign run by professionals. “Our idea is to restore Kochi, which remains ruined by the short-sightedness of political fronts, to its rightful place of glory. We have proved naysayers wrong in our past electoral fights, and we are confident of repeating it,” she said during het door-to-door campaign at Kumbalanghi.

Though perceived to be of similar interests, there seems no love lost between Twenty20 and V4 Kochi, which has fielded its campaign controller Nipun Cherian in the constituency, as both remain disparaging of the other and questions each other’s motives.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 10:34:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/a-five-cornered-fight-on-the-cards-in-kochi/article34185186.ece

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