THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If election day kept their palpitation high, the day after too was busy for the candidates. As how people’s representatives should always be, most of them did not wish to take a day off to relax. Palayam Rajan, outgoing Welfare Standing Committee chairperson who contested from Nanthancode ward for LDF, returned to the office to say goodbye to his colleagues and carry out some last-minute works to fulfill certain promises he made to the Nanthancode residents.
“There was an issue regarding a drainage connectivity which I promised to sort out during the campaign. So, I ensured that sufficient manpower was there to carry out the task and completed it at the earliest. Also, I had to visit a house where there was a funeral. Certain papers were left with the office and I wanted to clear off a backlog,” said Palayam Rajan, who faced a tough race in the polls opposite sitting councillor of UDF Leelamma Issac.
Similar was the schedule of outgoing Works Standing Committee chairperson V S Padmakumar. “I was actually caught in the campaigning activities and elections. Only two days could I spend at Corporation office amid that. So, certain things were left to be done,” he said.
Opposition leader Johnson Joseph, a contestant from Ulloor ward, found some time to engage in some prayers. “In life, I maintain a secular stand. I go to church and temple. On Fridays, I pray at Karikkakom Devi temple. On Tuesday, I was at the church at Pongumoodu, to thank god and to bless my party and myself for a successful result in the civic polls,” he said.
Nemom had a decisive run between UDF and BJP. Ex-employees leader Kaimanam Prabhakaran of UDF were on a thanksgiving spree there. “I spent considerable time to meet all who worked with and for me during campaigning. Met some voters in between. Their response is increasing my confidence for a good win,” he said.
One of the youngest contestants, Stephy J George from Kesavadasapuram, was on a recharge mode on Tuesday. A first-timer in local body poll scene, moving across the ward with over 2,500 houses had taken a toll on her. “I needed some rest at the end of a rigorous campaigning. Still, I did not sit idle, I answered lot many calls from the party supporters. Then, took some time to chat with my friends as well,” said Stephy.
Contacting certain candidates was hard as they preferred to switch off their mobile phones, maybe because the gizmos that had rung restlessly for weeks too needed a break.
After several weeks of ringing doorbells and shaking hands, the candidates should have been putting their feet up on Tuesday. While many had a relaxed day of work, candidates for Kamaleswaram, M B Rasmi and Mujeeb Rahman, had police cases to follow up on.
According to UDF candidate, “A UDF worker was roughed up on Sunday by the LDF candidate and his party workers. I went to meet him at General Hospital. The police did not take any action, as it was election day.”
LDF candidate Mujeeb Rahman denied the charges. He said: “I had got to know that someone from the opposite party was distributing pamphlets maligning me. It had no contact details. I captured a video of people in the opposite party distributing the pamphlets and filed a police case. Later, I came to know that a counter case has been filed against me.”
Outgoing Health Standing Committee Chairman Pushpalatha said that her everyday work is as hectic as election campaigning. “Most days I would reach workplace at 8.30 am and leave for home only by 9 pm. Sometimes, it would be 11 pm. The only difference is we did not have to slog on foot, unlike the election time. On Tuesday, I visited a party worker, whose house was damaged in the rains, and have more visits planned. It is just like any other day for me,” she said.
Rakhi Ravikumar, who is an advocate by profession, had a few cases to attend to at her office in Vanchiyoor. “I slept well this morning. Otherwise, it is a usual day at work,” she said. The polling percentage was only a little above 50 per cent in her ward, Vazhuthacaud, but she said that she is confident that she will win and so will LDF, she added.
Palayam LDF candidate Ayesha Baker said that she was having a relatively free day, but it was far from a relaxed day. “I am resting at the party office, but tense still. The polling percentage here was 52 per cent, which is much lesser than last time. From what people told us when we visited their homes, we think the outcome will be in our favour. Now the party workers are working hard collecting postal votes,” she said.
BJP’s Mayoral candidate P Asok Kumar said that he will be visiting his party workers. “I want to thank them personally for their support,” he said.