Thiruvananthapuram

Fronts set the ball rolling for Corpn. polls

The announcement of reserved wards in the city Corporation for the upcoming local body elections has set off speculations regarding the candidates for each ward.

Discussions have begun at the booth level in all fronts for possible candidates, with multiple contenders cropping up for some parties in some wards.

The contest will be keenly watched due to the unexpected result in the 2015 elections when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had increased its tally from 6 to 34 wards, mostly at the expense of the United Democratic Front (UDF), which went down from 42 to 21.

The questions regarding candidate selection within the UDF raised then have now been revived, according to UDF sources.

KC(M)’s exit

The recent shift of the Kerala Congress (M) from the UDF to the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has freed up two seats within the UDF.

Although the seats are expected to be handed over to the Joseph group, several contenders have come forward from the Congress for the Poonthura ward, where the sitting councillor is with the Joseph group.

“We have asked the constituents to put forward their requests, which we will get in two days. Detailed talks will be held from October 23. The final decisions regarding the Corporation, district panchayat and block panchayats will be taken at the district level,” said Beemapally Rasheed, UDF district convener.

For the ruling LDF, KC(M)’s arrival raises the question of the wards which the CPI(M) and the CPI will have to give up. Discussions have begun at the CPI(M) district committee for its candidates.

Mayor candidates

The names of two or three possible contenders for the Mayor post, reserved for woman, are in the air. The LDF, according to sources, is expected to bring in a few fresh, young faces, with those who have contested more than two or three times making way, except in a handful of cases.

“The names will be finalised in a week. An understanding has almost been reached within the LDF regarding the seats to be set aside for the new party joining the front,” said CPI(M) district secretary Anavoor Nagappan.

The BJP, which had recently suffered a jolt when one of its councillors quit the party and joined the CPI(M), is looking to consolidate the unexpected gains it made in 2015.

Winnable persons

The winners are making a strong pitch for seats, while the party is scrutinising their performance and chances of a repeat win before taking a final decision.

“The booth-level discussions have begun. The suggestions from there will be passed on to the higher levels up to the district. For us, there are many factors to consider, but the ultimate factor will be whether the candidate is winnable. Our aim this time is to capture power in the Corporation,” said M.R. Gopan, BJP’s council party leader.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 9:05:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/fronts-set-the-ball-rolling-for-corpn-polls/article32912627.ece

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