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UDF gets upper hand in Kasaragod

Staff Reporter

Retains Kasaragod municipality and Kanhangad council


LDF wins Neeleswaram municipality

LDF wins 8 seats in 16-member district panchayat


Kasaragod:  The United Democratic Front (UDF) has retained both the 38-member Kasaragod municipality and the 43-member Kanhangad council by a thumping majority, while the Left Democratic Front (LDF) has trounced the UDF in the newly carved-out Neeleswaram municipal council, winning 21 of the 32 seats.

In the 16-member district panchayat, the LDF has won 8 divisions, the UDF, 6 and the BJP, 1. However, due to the slender winning margin of less than 100 votes of the CPI(M) nominee in Delampadi division, the District Collector has ordered recounting, which began at noon on Thursday.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) with six members supported by the Indian National League (INL) and the Democratic Indira Congress (DIC) member had ruled the body for nearly four-and-a-half years until the INL and DIC member switched over loyalties to the UDF camp, leading to handing over of the baton to the UDF in a no-confidence motion recently.

In the six block panchayats, the LDF and the UDF are evenly placed winning three blocks each. In the previous four block panchayats, the LDF had the upper hand with Kanhangad, Nileshwaram and Manjeshwaram blocks in its favour while the UDF had to be content with Kasaragod block.

In the 38 grama panchayats, the UDF got the upper hand winning 17 wards,  LDF (13), BJP (4) while in the four grama panchayats of Panathady, Muliyar, Pullur-Periye and Puthige, no single party has won majority on its own. The BJP's hope to take its tally from six to double digits in the grama panchayat did not materialise and it had to be content with four seats. In the previous 39 grama panchayats in the district, (of which Nileshwaram has been elevated to Municipality), the LDF controlled 18, the UDF, 15 — IUML (10), Congress (5) — and the BJP (6).

        The LDF leaders on Thursday maintained that the UDF had got the upper hand in the grama panchayat elections in the district due to the “uholy poll pact” entered into by the Congress, the IUML and the BJP and by unleashing a false propaganda campaign among the district's minority Marathi speaking community.The LDF could improve upon its tally compared to the previous poll, CPI (M) district secretary K.P. Sathish Chandran said. The victory in Puthige and Delampadi divisions of the district panchayat had helped the front retain control in the 16-division body, Manjeshwaram MLA C H Kunhambu, who also attended the press conference, said.

BJP State general secretary K. Surendran told The Hindu that the BJP lost a few wards due to alleged UDF-LDF tie-up in select wards where the BJP was in a strong position. The pattern of voting could be visible if it was examined in Meencha and Mangalpadi panchayats, he said.

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