Thiruvananthapuram: The constituents of the United Democratic Front will have to shoulder equal responsibility for the debacle in the Kerala Legislative Assembly election. They cannot wash their hands of after passing the buck on to the Congress party, as they had done post the local body elections.
The way forward would be tough for the Kerala Congress (KC) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP). While the KC won two out of the 10 seats it had contested, RSP drew a blank in all the five constituencies where the party had fielded its candidates.
The UDF alliance partners blamed the internal strife and groupism in the Congress for the setback the Front had suffered in the 2020 local body polls. They cannot, however, level the same charge now, though for argument’s sake, point at the Congress’s defeat in 72 out of the 93 seats it had contested in the Assembly polls for the near rout.
The Indian Union Muslim League, which exuded confidence while fielding 27 candidates, could post victory in only 15 seats. The KC had bargained for days for its 10 seats, only to lose eight. The UDF leadership might now be regretting its decision to antagonize Kerala Congress (M) and welcome P J Joseph-led KC to its fold.
KC(M) had joined the LDF in October last, and won five of the 12 seats allotted to it. Joseph might now be staring at a dark future after his party had failed to create even a ripple favouring the UDF in central Kerala. Additionally, Joseph has his task cut out to retain those leaders who preferred him to Jose K Mani.
RSP draws a blank, again
More tragic was RSP’s performance, which failed to open the scorecard in two consecutive poll outings. RSP’s existence itself has now come under a threat with the party not having even a single MLA for 10 straight years. It won’t be surprising if the party considers returning to the LDF camp.
RSP, once the third important LDF constituent and one of the founding parties of the Front, left the alliance after it had been denied the Kollam Lok Sabha seat in 2014.