Left on winning track in Kerala, UDF trails

Left on winning track in Kerala, UDF trails

The Left was on course on Saturday for a much-needed electoral victory in the Kerala civic polls, dethroning the Congress-led UDF, available results showed. The BJP did better than last time.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left was on course on Saturday for a much-needed electoral victory in the Kerala civic polls, dethroning the Congress-led UDF, available results showed. The BJP did better than last time.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) was leading in 507 gram panchayats at 1 p.m. The United Democratic Front was ahead in 379 while the BJP was leading in 16 and others in 15. The state has 941 gram panchayats.

At the block level, the LDF was leading in 92 and the UDF in 59 while at the district panchayat level, the rival fronts lead in seven each.

In the trends available for the municipalities, the LDF was leading in 44 and the UDF in 31 and the BJP in just one.

In the six corporations, the LDF won two, the UDF in one, while in three corporations it was a hung house.

Overall in the 2010 polls, the UDF won 65 percent of the total seats.

Leader of opposition V.S.Achuthanandan, who was the star campaigner for the Left, said that this victory for us is a slap on the face of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

"The people have given a fitting reply to the corrupt ways of this government. The minority appeasing politics (was) played by Chandy, besides the anti-people policies that he has been following. It's only the Left that can...prevent the emergence of fascist forces and hence people have voted us," said Achuthanandan.

It is a strong come back for the Left which has not been able to secure a total win in any polls since they won the 2006 assembly polls.

In the 2010 civic polls while the Left won in the corporation (by winning three out of the five corporations), in the other segments - municipalities, district panchayats, block panchayats and gram panchayats, it was the Congress-led UDF that was far ahead of the Left.

The 2015 polls were held for 21,871 seats in 941 village, 152 blocks and 14 district panchayats besides 86 municipalities and six corporations.

As the results began to come in thick and fast, the Left opposition has been able to clearly edge out the ruling Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) in all the segments of the three-tier local body structure in the state.

State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran said that the results shows that the UDF base has not been affected that much.

"But, nevertheless, we did not expect this. But overall our base is intact. Yes, in the Thiruvananthapuram corporation (where it has been reduced to third position after the BJP) we have suffered a serious reverse," said Sudheeran.

"Now it's going to be time for introspection and to find out where all we made mistakes. Was it the candidate selection...Anyway all such issues would be discussed threadbare next week when our party leadership meets," Sudheeran told reporters here at the state party headquarters.

State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said that this is a warning signal that the people have given us.

"We have been winning every election in the state after the Left won the 2006 assembly polls and hence we will certainly have to do a lot of stock taking. We will look into all aspects which includes governance and other issues," said Chennithala.

The BJP had reason to cheer as it came second in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, pushing the Congress to third position after they won 34 seats, while the Congress could manage only 21 and the Left secured 42.

The BJP, which secured around 500 seats in the 2010 polls, has so far been able to muster about 1,100 seats.

"The results have proved that we are now a force to reckon with in electoral politics in the state and we just cannot be brushed aside," said state BJP president V. Muraleedharan.

Sudheeran, however, said: "The performance of BJP is just a temporary phenomenon."

Achuthanandan, however, said that the recent tie-up between the Hindu Ezhava leader Vellapally Natesan and BJP has come as a cropper in the state.

"Their tie-up failed to evoke any response and their candidate in Natesan's home turf finished third," said Achuthanandan.
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