Left front wins fight for supremacy in rural areas

LDF bags 43 panchayats in Kozhikode

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has won 43 out of the 70 grama panchayats in Kozhikode district by demonstrating an unquestionable supremacy in the majority of the rural areas. At the end of the fight on Wednesday, the United Democratic Front (UDF) had to be content with 27 seats after its strange coalitions and local tie-ups failed to make any significant advances against the ruling front.

Slight advantage

Though the LDF was fortunate to have 48 panchayats last time, it could not repeat the same magic because of the anti-incumbency factor and strong campaign by its political rivals. Meanwhile, the UDF had a slight advantage, improving from 22 panchayats to 27 in 2020.

Some shockers

Both the fronts had some shocking experiences as well in their own strongholds.

For the LDF, Thiruvallur panchayat was one of the shockers, where its 35 years of supremacy came to an end. Giving priority to young candidates and deploying star campaigners, the UDF managed to secure 11 out of the 20 seats.

The experience was almost the same for the LDF in Kodiyathur and Karassery panchayats, where the UDF came back to power with its successful campaign against rivals on environmental issues.

In Karassery panchayat, a draw of lots also came in favour of the UDF to ensure the victory of one of its candidates and clear its route to power.

A setback

For the UDF, the failure of Revolutionary Marxist Party of India’s (RMPI) candidates in Onchiyam grama panchayat and Kallamala block panchayat division emerged as an unexpected political setback.

At Onchiyam, RMPI’s Janakeeya Munnani supported by the UDF failed to retain two major seats. The seats were earlier represented by Onchiyam grama panchayat president P.V. Kavitha and vice president P. Jayarajan.

A major kick in the face of the UDF was its failure to win the Kallamala block panchayat division, where it had stood by an RMPI candidate following a local political agreement. It had later emerged as a controversial alliance as KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran was in favour of fielding a Congress candidate, opposing local leaders’ plan to support the RMPI in its home turf.

However, Mr. Ramachandran was later compelled to reconsider his decision considering the pressure of the local leadership. Congress leader and parliament member K. Muraleedharan had also opposed Mullappally’s stance. Though K.P. Jayakumar, the official UDF candidate, voluntarily withdrew from the campaign scene following the new alliance, his name and the Congress symbol were there on the ballot.

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