Kochi

LDF wrests Kalamassery ward

Rafeeq Marakkar  

The United Democratic Front (UDF) will continue to rule the Kalamassery Municipality with a wafer-thin majority despite facing a shocking defeat in the election held for ward 37 on Friday.

The results took the tally of Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the council to 20 while the UDF will retain power with 21 seats. Rafeeq Marakkar, the Independent candidate of the LDF, defeated V.S. Sameel of the Muslim League by 64 votes. Mr. Rafeeq won 308 votes while Sameel secured 244 votes.

Shibu Siddique, an Independent who had enjoyed the support of the ‘A’ group in the Congress, bagged 207 votes that helped the LDF increase its seat share in the council. The local leadership of the Muslim League blamed the infighting in the Congress for the defeat of its candidate.

The party has asked the Congress to initiate action against those responsible for the poll debacle.

The election to this ward was postponed following the death of a candidate. The Muslim League had refused to heed to the demand by a leader of the ‘A’ group of the Congress to support his candidature for the ward.

The UDF and the LDF had 20 members each at the start of the newly formed council.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had won one seat in the election held for 41 of the 42 wards.

The UDF’s strength shot up to 21 after K.H. Subair, a Muslim League rebel, left the Left camp and joined the front after two weeks. He was given the post of chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education, Arts and Sports as part of the compromise formula.

The victory of its Independent candidate in ward 37 has fuelled the LDF’s hopes of wresting control of the council as it remains confident of regaining the support of the rebels in the Congress and Muslim League in the coming weeks.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 6:01:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ldf-wrests-kalamassery-ward/article33639307.ece

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