KERALA

LDF consolidates its position

At the cost of the Congress

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Winning 21 of the 28 divisions, the Left Democratic Front (LDF)-Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) (DIC-K) alliance has consolidated its position in the district panchayat even as the UDF strength has come down from 11 to seven.

The Congress suffered the most, as all the 11 were its members. Now, the Congress has six members and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) one member in the new committee, which will assume office on Sunday.

The CPI(M), with 16 members, is the biggest LDF constituent, followed by the Janata Dal and the CPI with two members each and the DIC(K) with one member.

Following the split in the Congress, five members resigned and joined the DIC(K). The party fielded two of these members, Kottamam Vinod from Parassala and Ragini R. Pillai from Vattiyoorkavu. Though Mr. Vinod lost to UDF candidate A.T. George with a margin of 8,916 votes, Ms. Pillai was returned with a majority of 3,348 votes. She defeated UDF candidate Radhakrishnan Nair. Ms. Pillai's win has come as a morale booster to the DIC(K).

CPI(M) candidate D. Suresh Kumar, who was elected from Balaramapuram, had the highest margin of 16,551 votes. CPI(M) candidate Radhabai Amma, who contested from Palode, had the second highest margin of 8,592 votes among the LDF candidates.

Janata Dal (S) candidate C.R. Celin, who won from Kanjiramkulam, had the lowest margin of 439 votes among the LDF candidates. CPI(M) candidate from Mudakkal division Subhadra Sethunath won by a margin of 459 votes.

Other than Mr. George, none of the UDF winners won with an impressive margin. UDF candidate G. Sivadasan who was elected from Kallara had only a margin of 489 votes and Congress candidate Aanad Jayan who won from Aanad had a margin of 1,540 votes.

LDF district convener and the former district panchayat president M. Gangadharan Nadar, who was elected from Venganoor with a margin of 5,975 votes, is one of the prominent LDF leaders who have returned to the panachayat.

CPI(M) leader and sitting member S. Krishnankutty, who was re-elected from the Manamboor division, is yet another senior LDF leader in the district. Mr. Krishnankutty's win was confirmed on Thursday after confusion over tabulating the lead on Wednesday.

In Attingal

CPI(M) councillor C.J. Rajesh Kumar, who was elected from Thachurkunnu, is likely to be the chairman of Attingal municipality. DYFI leader C. Pradeep Kumar, who won from the Cutcherry ward, is likely to be the vice-chairman.

The LDF has 16 seats in the 28-member municipal council. The DIC(K) has two members, the UDF four and the BJP one member. Independent candidates were elected from five divisions.

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