Kerala

High-pitched triangular contest in Palakkad

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As wresting Palakkad municipality forms one among the top priorities of the BJP in the local bodies election, the town with significant Tamil population is witnessing a high pitched triangular contest in which no clear trend has emerged so far. Though the BJP has deputed a number of its top leaders for campaigning and the party somehow survived the rebel menace, its taller claims about a two-third majority in the election lacks validation even from its top leaders. Number wise, the BJP had its largest representation in the previous Palakkad municipal council while comparing with rest of municipal councils in the State.

Candidates of both the LDF and the UDF are engaged in a high-pitched campaign work making the outcome unpredictable. While the BJP using the newly started IIT, Palakkad-Pollachi rail route gauge conversion, and four-laning of the National Highway stretch as key campaign issues, rival formations too are using the same tools to beat the party that rules at the Centre.

Both the UDF and the LDF are claiming that Palakkad-Pollachi gauge conversion had nothing to do with the present dispensation at the Centre. They also term the IIT as the outcome of a collective effort. In the case of the National Highway widening between Walayar and Vadakkanchery, political rivals of the BJP are capitalising on the huge toll being imposed on road users.

As far as Shoranur and Ottappalam municipal councils are concerned, the LDF is confident of retaining the administration and it claims its chances have brightened due to the lack of any dissident activities in these two localities. CPI(M) rebels had caused severe headache to the LDF in these two municipalities in the previous election and the rebels won control of Shoranur with the Congress support. Now the rebels are back in the CPI(M) rank and files.

The UDF is confident of retaining Chittur-Thathamangalam municipality where local satrap K. Achuthan, MLA, has considerable sway. It has also greater hopes in Pattambi, which has been conferred municipality status recently. Both the LDF and the UDF are hopeful of winning Cherpulassery and Mannarkkad municipalities.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 7:46:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/highpitched-triangular-contest-in-palakkad/article7816574.ece

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