LDF sets eyes on Assembly polls, to ride on momentum attained from civic poll success

LDF sets eyes on Assembly polls, to ride on momentum attained from civic poll success

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front plans to ride on the momentum received from the outstanding victory in the civic polls to gear up for the Legislative Assembly elections set to be held by April or May. The CPM is relieved as the results on Wednesday showed that there is no anti-incumbency sentiment against the LDF government in Kerala and this is in stark contrast to the recent local body elections elsewhere where the referendum was against the state governments.

Even as the ruling front is now cherishing the victory that has been beyond its expectations it has not lost sight of the bigger battle. The CPM State Secretariat and the CPI Executive Committee will meet on Friday. The meetings will make a preliminary analysis of the results of the local body polls. A detailed discussion will then take place at the CPM state committee and the CPI state council meetings.

Jose factor

The conquest of the UDF strongholds in central Kerala has stimulated the ruling Front further. Although the induction of Jose K Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (Mani) has helped the LDF in the region, it is not considered as the sole reason for the good show in the civic polls.

According to LDF leaders, the strategic moves made by the chief minister and the Left leadership to patiently bring the Christian community closer were also a major contributing factor. This is proved by the turnaround in the fortunes of the Jose faction which had lost in the bypoll to the Pala assembly seat in September 2019.

The LDF's task in Pala or other parts of central Kerala became easy as it had to take on the Congress majorly with the exit of Jose from the UDF and the split in the Kerala Congress (Mani). The UDF has lost significant support in central Kerala after Jose faction joined the LDF. This has been proved by its defeat in the district panchayat polls in Idukki, Pathanamthitta, and Kottayam.

The CPI is not hesitant to admit that the arrival of Jose K Mani has contributed to the LDF’s progress in central Kerala. It has said that the question of who is the second-biggest party in the Front has become irrelevant with this verdict. While the CPI got 1,269 wards, the Kerala Congress (M) won 355.

To review losses

The CPM will also look into the loss of some municipalities and panchayats in which it was in power despite the overall overwhelming victory state-wide. Most of the loss has been in Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. Although the association with the Welfare Party hit the UDF politically, the CPM now believe it may have given an advantage to the opposition front in the local elections.

The headquarters of major LDF allies are keen to know how its boost from the civic polls will impact the ongoing investigations by central agencies in Kerala.

Amid the victory celebrations, the CPM leadership did not like some of the statements made by NCP MLA Mani C Kappan. The party is suspicious about Kappan's political goals.

Not eyeing cabinet berth: Jose K Mani

Kerala Congress (M) Chairman Jose K Mani has announced that he will resign from the Rajya Sabha soon but will not join the state cabinet.

The LDF will discuss who should be nominated for the vacant Rajya Sabha seat, he said.

The party has proved its popular support. The Kerala Congress will get the representation it deserves in the Assembly elections, he said.

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