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Kottayam only solace for UDF

Staff Reporter

Relief for Chandy as his home turf remains intact


  • UDF holds on to power in district panchayat
  • Retains two of the four municipalities
  • LDF takes control of six of 11 block panchayats

    KOTTAYAM: In an election swept by the Left Democratic Front (LDF), Kottayam appeared to be an island of solace for the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF): they could hold on to power at the district panchayat and retain at least two of the four municipalities, though six out of the 11 block panchayats and 43 of the 75 grama panchayats were taken by the LDF in the Left wave. In fact, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy can confidently heave a sigh of relief — his home turf, Puthupally grama and block panchayats and district panchayat division were intact with the UDF.

    The UDF managed to hold on to power at the district with a margin of just one vote. The counting at one time gave the impression that the ruling dispensation could lose its face at the district panchayat too, but the results of Ettumanur division where the outgoing president Ajitha Sabu was the UDF candidate, ultimately gave the district panchayat to the UDF. In the out going 21-member council, the UDF had 12 seats and the LDF nine.

    The results of the block panchayats too gave moments of tension, but ultimately the UDF had to concede defeat as the LDF took clear control of six of the 11 block panchayats. The UDF has four with the results at Madappally block ending up in a tie. In the outgoing dispensation, the UDF controlled seven block panchayats. The reversal for the UDF is more pronounced at the grama panchayat level. Earlier they had 48 grama panchayats under their kitty. After the elections, the LDF has taken 43, the UDF 23 and 10 still undecided.

    The CPI(M), which had faced the threat from SNDP in their strong holds in the western areas of the district, appears to have weathered the storm creditably However, the emerging picture at neighbouring Idukki district, once a UDF fortress, may give sleepless nights to UDF strategists — the continuing agrarian crisis, the changes in minority mindset and deft handling of the situation by LDF leadership appears to have clearly ended the UDF supremacy in the high range district. Barring a consolation victory at Thodupuzha municipality, the UDF has been wiped out at the district, block and grama panchayats. In the 16-member district panchayat, the LDF took 14, leaving only two to the UDF. Out of the eight block panchayat divisions, six have gone the LDF way . The UDF has one and the picture is still hazy at the remaining one, Adimali. The `unkindest cut of all' was the results from Nedumkandam block panchayat where the LDF took all the 12 seats. The picture at the grama panchayat level points to a thumping victory for the LDF with 35 grama panchayats clearly coming under their control. Ten have gone to the UDF. A clear picture from the rest would emerge in the coming days.

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