THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The campaign for the district panchayat election has witnessed a renewed fervour with the UDF looking to repeat its 2010 success. Meanwhile, the entry of the BJP with a lone seat has fuelled the intense election campaign trail set by both the UDF and LDF as the previous elections in the corporation have witnessed the steady rise of the NDA. With a handful of days ahead of the crucial poll, the candidates are trying to consolidate their votes.
The BJP has fielded its state secretary and former district secretary S Suresh from Venganoor division, which gave an opening to NDA in the district panchayat. They are hopeful of retaining the division as the Venganoor and the adjacent Pallichal panchayats were ruled by NDA. Though Suresh was unsuccessful in the 2010 elections, he managed to garner around 14,000 votes.
The BJP camp is upbeat about the increase in vote share in the 2016 assembly election and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “These elections have proven the support of people for BJP. We have also fielded the right candidates,” said Suresh. While BJP hopes to improve its tally, the UDF plans to regain the lost rule.
The UDF camp feels that better candidate selection would increase its prospects. “There is a renewed energy among the public and party workers. Their efforts will be reflected in results,” said Ansajitha Russel, former district panchayat president and a Congress candidate from Vellarada division.
The LDF has not taken the competition lightly. Having finalised the candidates’ list much in advance, it had the advantage over UDF in starting the campaign early. “We have focused on the achievements of the ruling council,” said V K Madhu, outgoing district panchayat president. Under him, the panchayat won both national and state awards for the best district panchayat. Meanwhile, CPM has fielded nine women candidates among 19 seats.
Current seat position