Thiruvananthapuram is the birthplace of M Sivasankar, Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair — the protagonists of the gold smuggling case that has generated a lot of political heat in the run-up to the local body polls.
When LDF, which lorded over the city civic body, Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation, and its main opposition BJP, claim the contest is between them for the current edition of he local body polls, the UDF takes a dig saying the competition is between the two about having the maximum number of campaign boards!
The LDF which is fighting to retain the Thiruvananthapuram District Panchayat is being given a tough challenge by the UDF through its young candidates.
Even though the contest is between UDF and LDF in block and gram panchayats, the BJP which had won four panchayats and six block divisions in 2015 is hoping to improve its tally this time. The three fronts are facing the problem of rebels and namesake candidates for both block and village elections.
Indicating its serious bid to secure the Corporation council, the BJP has fielded its district president from a ward in the Kerala capital. The party which has set a target of winning 70 wards is facing tough competition in 11 city wards from namesake candidates who have been allotted the Rose symbol which resembles the former's 'Lotus'.
With all three political fronts having their base and share of votes right from the Corporation level down to gram panchayats, this kind of triangular fight cannot be witnessed in any other district in the state.
Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram, the two Lok Sabha seats overlapping in the Thiruvananthapuram district, are currently with the UDF. Of the 14 Assembly seats 10 are with the LDF and BJP bagged Nemom, one of the remaining four assembly constituencies.
As LDF banks on welfare schemes, the opposition eyes to milk the controversies that has swirled the state government.
Political observers say the electoral choice of the coastal population could be swayed by the efforts to curb COVID-19.
BJP hopes Thiruvananthapuram will create history by rejecting the two fronts in the civic polls this month. But it is impossible to predict the voter's mind in a place where history, political swings and day-to-day problems are intertwined.
The people of Thiruvananthapuram may embrace anyone. If a welcome board were to be hung at the entry point of Thiruvananthapuram district, the most ideal words to be written on that would be "No one is a stranger"! In other words, candidates and voters in the southern district cannot take any political trends for granted even for this local body elections.