KOCHI: “Woh! Usha praveen, daughter of Nayanar and the mayor candidate of the LDF, lost to David Parambithara. Congratulations David. This is the victory.” Hibi Eden didn’t waste time to give vent to his ecstasy as flash news of Usha’s defeat scrolled on the television. The MLA of the UDF was in the throes of anxiety till the result of Ravipuram, where Usha Praveen and David were in fray, was announced.
Besides screaming and calling many over the phone, Hibi started high-fiving his friends and hugging top leaders of UDF including Benny Behnan, V J Paulose, Dominic Presentation, Tony Chammany and Eldhose Kunnappilly who had assembled at the District Congress Committee office by 8 am for election updates. GCDA chairman Venugopal too erupted in joy when his ‘I’ group candidate -- Gracy Babu Jacob -- one among the mayor probables of the UDF was declared winner in Ernakulam North ward. The upbeat mood peaked when the victory of Adv Mini Mol V K was announced by Hibi. However, the victory of Aristotil threw up a surprise for the UDF leadership.
This was because Aristotil romped home by defeating LDF strongman K J Jacob, the Opposition leader of the outgoing council. The mood inside the DCC office saw ups and downs like a see-saw, as it hinged purely on the changing seat positions appeared on the TV screen. It didn’t take much time for the leaders to slip into a pensive mood when they lost some of their strong seats. The defeat of M X Sebastian, who lost to Rajeev Sebastian at Ponnurunni division and the drubbing of their candidates in traditional strongholds delivered a shock to the leadership. The uneasy calm seemed to melt away when the UDF tally crossed to 37 by 11.30 pm.