The byelection to the Kidangayam ward on the UDF-led Chottanikkara Panchayat will be held on Tuesday. Veteran leader A J George is the nominee of the UDF while the LDF, once again, has nominated K K Siju, considering his efforts in collecting a record number of votes during the previous elections from the ward, which is considered as a Congress stronghold.
The election was scheduled at the sixth ward after its representative, M A John, the former panchayat president, died a few months ago. Later, Johnson Thomas was sworn in the new president of the panchayat.
Sources said the by-election is crucial for both Fronts as it could make a change of governance in the panchayat. “The UDF came to power by winning nine seats of the total 14 seats in the panchayat. LDF holds power at five wards. If the ruling front losses the battle, chances are high that it will lead to a faction feud in the UDF and this, in turn, will help the LDF come to the power,” sources said.
They added that Siju’s candidature is a challenge to the UDF camp. “The UDF is used to a huge win at the ward except the last time. However, K K Siju lost in the ward just for four votes,” they said.
Meanwhile, A J George, the UDF candidate, is popular man among the people with his 19-year long stint as a political worker.
Panchayat president Johnson Thomas said the UDF was aiming for a triumph with maximum lead. “The development projects started by M A John at the ward will alone take the party to a huge victory. The party will stay united all time and it will continue to rule the panchayat,” he said.