Lok Sabha Poll Results Embolden Oommen Chandy - The New Indian Express

Lok Sabha Poll Results Embolden Oommen Chandy

Published: 18th May 2014 08:26 AM

Last Updated: 18th May 2014 12:19 PM

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though the UDF has yielded four seats out of the 16 it was holding to the LDF in the current Lok Sabha polls, hardly anyone is taking the Oommen Chandy government to task for it.

The poor show of the Congress at the national-level could be one factor for this. After the poll outcome, it has come to the fore that the defeat in a couple of such seats was borne from the last-minute meddling of the Congress High Command in candidate fixation and mishandling of the  Gadgil-Kasturirangan reports by the Centre.

The post-poll scenario points to Oommen Chandy getting stronger by all means and emerging as a rallying point while he is completing the third year in office of his second innings as Chief Minister on Sunday.

Chalakkudi and Thrissur segments have dumped the Congress, apparently responding to the taken for granted approach of the party and swapping of sitting MP’s in the fray. Going by a general assesment, Chandy also admitted the faux paus over candidates’ inter-changing. He has also no doubt that the K-factor, which had descended during poll eve in Idukki segment, has proved costly for the  Congress.

Among other segments which could have been bagged, Chandy pointed out to ‘Express’ that the party lost Kasaragod only by a whisker.

“Altogether,the excellent performance in the polls was borne from a united fight put up by the UDF. In Kasaragod, the defeat of T Siddique by a slender margin is equivalent to a victory. Though there was heavy bogus voting in Kannur, the LDF won by a narrow margin only”,he said, maintaining that the UDF was in no way far behind the 2009 poll results.

Chandy had stated that he would be primarily responsible for the LS poll outcome in the state,none is making an issue over it,though the UDF numbers have come down by four than in the 2009 polls. “UDF scored 16 seats in the 2009 LS polls while it was sitting in the opposition here. When we came to power in the state after the 2011 Assembly polls,the equivalent number of Lok Sabha seats was only nine. People consistently voted in favour of the UDF in various polls held after 2011, and this time also it is no different,” Chandy said.

Incidentally,an analysis of the LS poll results in the state shows that the UDF has taken a lead in 79 out of 140 assembly segments. Even after RSP’s recent induction into the UDF fold the current strength of  MLAs  backing the government is only 75.

Had the show of the Congress-led UPA beensomething to cheer about at the national-level,the Kerala scenario would have been quite different with the 12-8 score. Chandy would have been a scapegoat then,especially when opponents within the party were waiting to strike against him.

The state results are poised to embolden Chandy in the Congress and the UDF fold,especially when the Congress High Command can only have a weak command for quite sometime,till it recovers from the shocking poll debacle. Congressmen and the UDF camp would be forced to rally behind him, which could lead to a calculated course by Chandy for his government and assertion in the party also.

Chandy was waiting for the LS poll verdict as a litmus test to chart his way forward with a development agenda, after declaring that the outcome will be a rating of his government.

“I’m taking it as a referendum,” Chandy told Express. He had displayed it on Friday itself after the poll outcome, by announcing a vigorous development course ahead. If the Chief Minister was seen occasionally stuck on various issues related to projects and policies of his government, the LS poll results are a big confidence-booster for him.

How the state government will find the going viz-a-viz the NDA government on development projects such as Aranmula airport and issues such as K-report,especially when the BJP is in favour of implementing the Gadgil report, will be a matter of immense interest,though Chandy has made it clear that a path of confrontation will be avoided.

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