Kerala

Shifting loyalties keep parties on their toes

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The quantum leap in the number of municipalities from two to seven in Kozhikode has left the major political fronts fervently calculating and vehemently guessing about their prospects as it could be cited as an easy index of their strength in the district, with the elections to the local bodies closing in fast.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) was in power in both Vadakara and Koyilandy municipalities (the only two so far in the district) for the last few decades. However, the addition of five more new municipalities — Ramanattukara, Feroke, Mukkam, Koduvally and Payyoli — is set to make changes on the power table as all these local bodies, when they were panchayats, had a different political history.

If Mukkam and Feroke panchayats were in the hands of the Left front, rest of the three were ruled by the UDF. However, none of these local bodies, including Koduvally, was never under the control of any particular front for more than a term or a maximum of two. Voters in these local bodies continued to shift their loyalties according to the changing trends. The margin of seats the fronts secured to win power at these local bodies was also often marginal, giving the rulers a sense of insecurity.

Of the total seven, if the current indications are anything to go by, the LDF is poised to get a slight edge over the rival front in terms of the number of municipalities it might get power over. According to Elamaram Karim, CPI(M) leader in charge of the LDF campaign in the district, the front is all set to wrest power in at least three more new municipalities in the district, besides retaining power in Vadakara and Koyilandy.

“We are almost sure of emerging victors in Koduvally this time besides retaining power in Mukkom and Feroke even in their new municipality status,” he said. In Koduvally, the UDF, which is haunted by rebel candidates, is also facing serious corruption allegations from the opposition.

The UDF, however, is not in a mood to be cowed down by the tall claims of the rival camp. “We will not only come into power in the new municipalities, but will also wrest power from the LDF in Vadakara this time,” said C. Valsalan, Congress leader and the chairperson candidate for the UDF in the Vadakara municipality. “That time of people tolerating the apathy and slumber of a ruling front in a local body for more than a decade is no more,” he swears.





The addition of five more new municipalities is set to make changes on the power table as all these local bodies had a different political history.



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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:03:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/shifting-loyalties-keep-parties-on-their-toes/article7816568.ece

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