THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after reservation ward selection for the local body polls in the city corporation was over, political parties became busy fixing the contestants in right slots so as to release the candidate list by October 1. Discussions at party leadership levels are going on in full swing in LDF, UDF and BJP. Implicitly, in many wards the probable candidates are ready and they have got busy renewing personal contacts. With UDF being relegated to the runner up position, all eyes are on the competition between LDF and BJP.
BJP, which has six seats in the council, most often used to support the ruling front in many issues, but rift has developed between the two fronts with the elections round the corner. The rift became evident in the manner in which BJP made its stand clear in the recent discussions held regarding expulsion of the corporation from the Smart City probables list in the corporation council. Until then, whenever UDF raised issues one after the other, the party stood with LDF.
After the Smart City issue, the position between the two parties became clear with Mayor K Chandrika’s open reaction against BJP’s action of planting its flag on the land identified for opening a plastic rejects storage unit at Putharikandam Maidan. The Mayor called it an attempt to sabotage corporation’s waste management initiatives. Some years ago, when plans were afoot to set up a municipal solid waste management unit at Chalai, the party-led local protest was very strong. BJP had also expressed its reserve over the ‘Ente Nagaram Sundara Nagaram’ sanitation campaign, saying the left was trying to impose on the party’s methodologies and excluding the already ‘clean’ wards from getting the ‘total sanitation tag’.
The irritation got smoothed out when the wards of BJP councillors were later included in the campaign. While BJP is forging ahead by pitching for all 100 wards, it hopes to win at least one-fifth of the total.