Massive display of strength marks end of campaigning in Puthuppally
LDF, NDA & AAP candidates join party workers for kottikalasam, Chandy Oommen stays away
KOTTAYAM: The high-octane campaigning for the Puthuppally by-election came to a close after nearly four weeks on Sunday with an electrifying show of strength (kottikalasam) by various parties in Pampady.
Thousands of workers of the UDF, LDF and NDA as well as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), started gathering at the tiny town in the afternoon. They were soon joined by candidates G Lijin Lal (NDA), Jaick C Thomas (LDF) and Luke Thomas (AAP).
Though UDF candidate Chandy Oommen stayed away, his sister Achu Oommen, Thrikkakara MLA Uma Thomas and leaders like T Siddique and Rahul Mankoottam were in attendance.
Jack wound up his open campaigning with an impressive road show across the constituency, starting from Vakathanam around noon. Accompanied by scores of two-wheelers, cars and other vehicles, Jaick travelled across all eight grama panchayats in the constituency in an open vehicle and reached Pampady by evening. Meanwhile, Chandy Oommen was busy meeting voters in various panchayats.
Accompanied by Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor and Congress state president K Sudhakaran, Chandy Oommen took part in a rally in Manarcad town in the afternoon. Lijin, who was accompanied by BJP state president K Surendran, also visited a few houses and shops in Manarcad, before joining NDA workers at Pampady in the afternoon. Several issues, including development and corruption, figured during the campaigning. While UDF highlighted the six corruption allegations against the LDF, the Left front countered by highlighting the alleged development stalemate in the constituency.The NDA, meanwhile, banked on the development projects rolled out in Puthuppally by the Centre.
Memories of late Congress leader and Puthuppally MLA Oommen Chandy and his emotional rapport with people in the constituency were also topics of discussion during electioneering. There were some personal attacks too. Achu Oommen as well as Jaick’s wife Geethu Thomas had lodged complaints against cyberbullying. On the final day, UDF countered various allegations after a voice clip emerged on Oommen Chandy’s treatment in Bengaluru.
As per the clip of a phone conversation between two persons, Chandy Oommen and his mother Mariamma Oommen allegedly did not let senior Congress leaders M M Hassan, K C Joseph and Benny Behanan meet Oommen Chandy while the late leader was in Bengaluru for treatment. The conversation also alleged the mother and son denied proper treatment to Chandy. K C Joseph dismissed the allegations and claimed it was a plot by LDF to malign Oommen Chandy’s family.
Party workers rock Pampady
Thousands of workers of UDF, LDF, NDA and AAP started gathering at Pampady from afternoon. They were soon joined by candidates G Lijin Lal (NDA), Jaick C Thomas (LDF) and Luke Thomas (AAP)