THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The LDF roared back to power yet again in Thiruvananthapuram corporation -- the largest city corporation in the state -- leaving the BJP and the UDF way behind.
Improving on its tally in the past decade, the LDF won 52 of the 100 wards in the capital, shattering the hopes of the BJP leadership which had deemed the Thiruvananthapuram corporation within their reach.
While the BJP had made a remarkable leap last time winning 34 seats, the saffron party lost many of its sitting seats this year. However, it managed to win the same number of seats in the new council which will take charge on Monday.
Though the LDF managed to win more seats, the front lost many of its sitting seats to the BJP, including Sasthamangalam, Chel lamangalam, Chempazhanthy, Nettayam, Kunnamangalam, Punnakkamugal, Estate, Nedumcaud and Thiruvallam. At the same time, the Left also claimed many of BJP’s sitting seats, including Valiyasala, Perunthanni, Kamaleswaram, Njandoorkonam, Puthupally, Pattom, Vattiyoorkavuu, Attukal and Thiruvallam. BJP sources said the party lost sitting seats as it fielded wrong candidates. BJP’s strategy to field established leaders as candidates in many wards worked while a similar strategy implemented by the LDF failed to yield dividends.
BJP district president V V Rajesh won with a thumping majority in Poojapura while the incumbent Mayor, LDF’s K Sreekumar -- who contested from Karikkakom -- lost. Meanwhile, UDF’s presence in the city corporation is diminishing, claiming just 10 seats this time. The BJP achieved a creditable win in Nedumcaud ward which has been a Left bastion for the past 45 years.
S Pushpalatha, a three-time councillor and an LDF Mayor candidate, lost to BJP’s Karamana Ajith. With the UDF candidate receiving only 68 votes, the LDF is alleging that UDF helped BJP win the seat, sources said. Independent candidates have won five seats in the new council. Sources said the LDF has wrested many coastal wards which used to be Congress bastions. The LDF managed to win coastal wards like Chanthavila, Beemapally East, Valiyathura, Vettukadu and Manikyavilakam.
Congress workers in the district are agitated and are blaming MLA V S Sivakumar and district committee president P K Venugopal for UDF’s loss in the capital. Sources said the party members are demanding the resignation of the district committee leaders for their failure to run a competitive campaign in the local body elections. The LDF will decide its mayor and deputy mayor candidates after the party secretariat meetings which will be held in the next two days. CPI’s P K Raju, who won from Pattom, is a likely candidate for the deputy mayor’s post, sources said.
‘Perfect organisational setup key to Left victory’
Political analyst N M Pearson said a perfect organisational setup and candidate selection were the key to LDF’s thumping victory in Thiruvananthapuram. The BJP lost its sitting seats because the party failed to make a mark in those wards, he said. “Had they worked hard, they would have definitely retained their seats. LDF’s advantage is that people are willing to contest for them. The UDF is struggling because they failed to field good candidates. People are not willing to contest for the UDF fearing defeat. They don’t have the support system needed to woo good candidates,” Pearson said.
Highs and lows in city
LDF managed to win coastal wards like Chanthavila, Beemapally East, Valiyathura, Vettukadu and Manikyavilakam.
BJP district president V V Rajesh won with a thumping majority in Poojapura
Incumbent Mayor, LDF’s K Sreekumar -- who contested from Karikkakom -- lost.
Congress workers in the district are agitated and are blaming MLA V S Sivakumar and district committee president P K Venugopal for UDF’s loss in the capital
LDF will decide its mayor and deputy mayor candidates after the party secretariat meet