Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Oct 21, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



Kerala
News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

New wards crucial for both fronts in capital

T. Nandakumar

LDF ahead on the campaign front, but UDF confident of putting up a better show



Campaign in full swing:Idavacode in Thiruvananthapuram city suburbs is witnessing a three-cornered contest among the LDF, UDF and the BJP.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As electioneering enters the last leg in the city, both the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), the two major political coalitions in the fray, are fighting hard for advantage.

After the untimely rains which kept the campaign bogged down in the initial stages, the candidates and their supporters have redoubled efforts to make up for lost time and ensure saturation coverage.

The smooth seat-sharing talks between the coalition partners and a well-oiled election machinery have given the LDF campaign a distinct edge. The UDF has been plagued by rumblings within the camp and the lack of precision work. The organisational problems of the Congress have only compounded the situation.

However, UDF leaders feel that the favourable political situation in Kerala will help them overcome the initial hiccups and the challenge posed by rebels.

Though UDF leaders claim that the coalition will secure at least 60 seats in the council, they privately admit that a tally of 40 will be more realistic.

A section of UDF leaders feel that the coalition could have fared better with a campaign more focused on local issues like bad roads and the failure of the LDF to utilise Central funds. The UDF's attempt to play up the lottery issue has failed to strike a chord among the voters.

LDF leaders admit that the truck with the Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran) was a significant factor in the last elections. Though confident of achieving a majority even without that advantage, they have now come round to the possibility of a stronger Opposition camp in the next council.

The LDF campaign has been pegged to the development works taken up in the city over the last five years, especially in solid waste management and housing for the poor.

Some pitfalls

However, the ruling front has been unable to handle criticism over the poor maintenance of roads and the delay in completing externally-funded projects for water supply, sanitation and flood control. A handful of LDF leaders in the fray, including former Mayor J. Chandra and CPI(M) strongman K.C. Vikraman are facing strong challenge from their UDF rivals.

The 22 outlying wards annexed from the neighbouring panchayats and the coastal belt stretching from Pallithura to Mulloor are crucial for the LDF and UDF. The indifference of urban voters to the electoral issues is a major worry for both camps.

A low turnout for the polls has the potential to harm the UDF more than the LDF. In the 2005 elections, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation had registered a voter turnout of just 43.67 per cent against a State average of 59.94.

BJP's focus

The BJP, which is contesting 73 seats, is concentrating its organisational strength in 19 wards where it wields considerable influence. The party had come second in 21 seats in the last elections.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Kerala

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2010, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu