The seven municipalities in Palakkad, one of the largest districts in the State, are offering a tough competition for the three main contenders in the civic body election: the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by the Congress, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the CPI(M), and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP.
The toughest fight will naturally be in the Palakkad municipality, the only civic body ruled by the BJP in the State.
The three fronts are putting up a gutsy show here. They are trying desperately to overcome internal issues over denial of seats to certain people.
When the BJP State leadership concentrates its focus on returning to power in Palakkad, UDF and LDF appear hell-bent on unseating BJP. What vexes the UDF and the LDF was the fact that the BJP ruled Palakkad for five years in spite of being in minority.
The BJP had 24 seats in the 52-member council. The UDF had 18, the LDF nine, and the Welfare Party one.
When UDF was in power in four municipalities (Pattambi, Mannarkkad, Cherpulassery and Chittur Thathamangalam), LDF ruled the Shoranur and Ottapalam municipalities.
The fight is tight in Mannarkkad, Cherpulassery, Shoranur, and Chittur Thathamangalam.
In Mannarkkad, UDF and LDF had 13 seats each and BJP had three seats. But UDF clinched the municipality through a draw of lots.
Both fronts are jostling for an upper hand in Mannarkkad, in spite of issues within them. This time, the outcome can be unpredictable here.
The Chittur Thathamangalam municipality, one of the oldest municipalities in the State, used to be a bastion of the Congress, but not any longer.
The LDF is putting up a strong fight here, and trying hard to capitalise on the rebel issues the UDF faced here in the initial days of the nomination. In the outgoing council, UDF had 18 seats and LDF, 11.
The LDF is confident of improving its tally this time. Although UDF ruled Cherpulassery, both LDF and BJP are putting up a strong fight to unseat the Congress here.
The LDF has gone for ‘consensus candidates’ with the objective of toppling UDF. The LDF has high hopes in Cherpulassery.
In Pattambi, UDF appears to be comfortable. The LDF is facing challenges in Shoranur and Ottapalam, though a change of rule is not expected.