KOCHI: Despite the poor show across the State, the United Democratic Front (UDF) managed to retain its upper hand in the district by retaining the Kochi Corporation and the district panchayat, though with a thinner margin than in 2010.
The LDF, which was hoping for a big leap, fell short of its expectations, winning only six out of the 13 municipalities in the district, including Thripunithura, where it ousted the UDF from power. In the 82 grama panchayats in the district, the LDF and the UDF secured majority/lead in 42 and 38 respectively, when we went to the press. The UDF won nine out of the 14 block panchayats, while five block panchayats went to the LDF, marking a notable improvement from 2010 when the tally was one. The BJP staged a good show in many urban centres, though it was translated into victory in many wards.
The LDF’s plan to win back the Kochi Corporation, which it ruled for three decades until 2010, failed despite the fierce infighting in the Congress and the presence of nearly 15 Congress rebels. The BJP could retain two sitting seats, and finished second in three divisions.
The LDF can still claim that it managed to improve its performance compared to 2010, by raising the number of seats in the district panchayat from three to 11; and in the Corporation from from 24 to 30. While the LDF won only one municipality in 2010, this time voters in five municipalities reposed faith in the Front. It also won five block panchayats, compared to one in 2010. The Front secured majority in 38 gram panchayats also.
The BJP sprung some surprises in urban areas, especially in the Thrikkakara municipality where it finished second by winning 13 seats. It also managed to win a few seats in grama panchayats, but could not pull out a big show. The BJP bagged one seat each in the Aluva, Piravom and North Paravur municipalities, and three in Perumbavoor.
For the LDF, Sharada Mohan, daughter of former Chief Minister P K Vasudevan Nair, won the Kaladi ward under the district panchayat. Meanwhile, Usha Praveen, daughter of the late E K Nayanar, was defeated by Congress candidate David Parambithara in the Ravipuram division under the Corporation.
Though the LDF had allocated the Avoli ward of the district panchayat to the Kerala Congress (B), the candidate there tasted a bitter defeat from the Congress.