Kerala

By the river, where currents seldom change

Posters of political parties jostle for space in a small corner at Alamcode, part ofAttingal municipality.— Photo: S. Mahinsha

Posters of political parties jostle for space in a small corner at Alamcode, part ofAttingal municipality.— Photo: S. Mahinsha  

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LDF upbeat in stronghold;UDF putting up good fight

The name Attingal in Malayalam might stand for ‘by the river’, but polls in Attingal municipality have seldom seen any change in political currents over the years.

Right from 1979, except for a solitary term in 2000-2005, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has literally monopolised governance here.

This time too, the LDF is upbeat about its prospects. But the United Democratic Front (UDF) is not in a mood to give up, with P. Unnikrishnan, one of their main campaigners, stating that they are eyeing victory in around 21 to 22 out of the 31 wards.

How they are going to manage that sort of a landslide victory, however, remains a crucial question. Like M. Pradeep, vice chairman in the outgoing council says, it is the UDF government that has been a major advocate of the ‘good governance’ put forth by the LDF council over the past 10 years.

Waste management practices of the municipality are now part of folklore, with Attingal winning the last 10 annual State awards for the same, earning the tag of the ‘cleanest municipality in the State’.

The Oommen Chandy government also presented the municipality with the State Innovation award for ‘best public service delivery’ in 2013.

The applause for the municipality has seen Ministers and bureaucrats going around citing Attingal as a model, and encouraging others to take a lesson from Attingal, he says. And it is this same applause that makes LDF campaigners so confident of a third consecutive victory.

The LDF could not boast of a sweeping victory in 2010, but it still won 17 out of the 31 wards and was among the few municipalities where LDF held its head straight when red bastions elsewhere crumbled under a UDF surge.

For November 2, the UDF has two KPCC executive committee members — V.S. Ajithkumar and V. Jayakumar — in the fray. The LDF has Mr. Pradeep at the helm, though the front is reluctant to name anyone as frontrunner for chairperson. S. Kumari, chairperson in the outgoing council, is not contesting. The BJP is contesting all wards, aiming at increasing its tally from the existing one seat in the council.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 10:37:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/by-the-river-where-currents-seldom-change/article7816719.ece

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