LDF confident in Corpn. despite stiff challenge

Keen trainees: Officials being trained in the functioning of the Electronic Voting Machines for the forthcoming local body polls in the collectorate on Saturday.  

The city Corporation became a topic of discussion across the State after the local body elections in 2015 threw up an unexpected result. Though the Left Democratic Front (LDF) managed to retain power in the local body, which it has held for decades, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) threw up an unexpected challenge, pushing the United Democratic Front (UDF) to the third place.

But, going into the elections now, the LDF puts up a more confident face, projecting its record of the past five years, which had got some sort of a public approval with the by-election win last year of former Mayor V.K. Prasanth, who served for four of those five years. It had managed to finalise its list of candidates, consisting of a large number of young, educated women, far ahead of its competitors too.

S. Pushpalatha, one of the probable Mayor candidates of the LDF, says that the main campaign plank is a continuation of the developmental works of the past five years.

“We have covered most of the areas in the first round. Even though now online campaigns have gained in importance, our main focus in local body elections has been door-to-door campaigns,” she says.

Clear intent

BJP has fielded its district president V.V. Rajesh in one of the wards to send a message that it is expecting nothing short of a win in the local body. BJP Parliamentary party leader M.R. Gopan says the party has been focusing more on the 20 wards where it came second in 2015, and especially in those wards they lost by a thin margin.

“We have fielded many councillors who have proved their mettle in the previous term. There are fresh faces too. There is a strong anti-Left feeling in the ground,” says Mr. Gopan.

Among the three fronts, the UDF was the last to finalise its list of candidates, with major opposition from the ward committees in some places to the candidates chosen by the district leadership. Rebel candidates have also popped up in some wards. Yet, the leadership is confident of a turnaround in its fortunes, from the mere 21 seats it managed to win in 2015.

Highlighting failure

“The response from the public to our campaign has been positive. We are highlighting the failure of the LDF in finding a lasting solution to the many issues being faced by the city, despite being in power for so long,” says D. Anilkumar, deputy leader of the UDF in the council.

The smaller outfits, including the newly formed Thiruvananthapuram Vikasana Munnani, and the Independents also could upset the calculations of the major fronts in close contests, even if they manage to win only a few votes.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 5:46:32 PM |

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