THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Friday when Pala bade an electoral adieu to the Kerala Congress for the first time ever in its history, it was the state Congress leadership that were the real losers. Shocked by the surprise defeat of its candidate in the Pala bypoll, the UDF camp has put the blame squarely on the infighting in the Kerala Congress(M). Despite the infighting, none of the Congress leaders had actually feared a defeat in Pala, a traditional UDF stronghold. This historic verdict could now prove to be a gamechanger during the campaigning for the coming byelections, where UDF has four sitting seats.
With the CPM campaigning making an impact in Pala, the Left would focus on similar electioneering for byelections to Manjeshwar, Ernakulam, Aroor, Konni and Vattiyoorkavu. Now it has become a burden on the Congress front to protect its own turf fighting both the Left and the BJP.
Maybe for the first time in the history of Pala, the campaigning was led by the entire Congress leadership in the state. In the absence of KM Mani, veteran leader A K Antony, Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran were all actively involved in the campaigning. But the Congress failed to read the negative sentiments simmering against the UDF among the masses.