THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite the best efforts from the Congress leadership and the political environment that has dented the charm of the LDF government, the UDF couldn’t make big gains in the local body byelections held on Monday. The results which were announced on Wednesday gave heartburns to most of the new leaders of district Congress committees.
The state leadership feels that there were lapses on the part of a section of new DCC leaders which affected the party’s prospects. With the LDF winning 16 of 32 local body wards that went to the polls, UDF had to be content with 11 seats. The byelections also saw BJP winning a seat in Edamalakkudy grama panchayat in Idukki by just one vote.
A top Congress leader told TNIE that UDF never got an edge in the byelections across the state as the ruling LDF had a leeway with the government machinery on their side. “Normally, it is difficult for UDF to get an edge in the byelections when LDF is in power. With the LDF facing no dearth of funds and having disciplined party cadre, getting them defeated is a herculean task,” he said.
The weak party machinery at the grass roots has added to the Congress’ woes. “Even in Vettucaud ward in Thiruvananthapuram corporation, the local district Congress leadership could not give a good fight as the party machinery is weak. There were issues like tax swindle which had put the ruling LDF council on the defensive. Still, that couldn’t be capitalised on,” said the leader.
Thiruvananthapuram district Congress chief Palode Ravi has sought a report from Kovalam MLA M Vincent and Congress block committee president Perumthanni Padmakumar on the party’s failure in Vettucaud.