It wins the district panchayat and wins Pala municipality for the first time in 68 years
In an election marked by major setbacks to the United Democratic Front (UDF), the Left Democratic Front (LDF) made significant advances in Kottayam to win majority of the local bodies.
The LDF won the district panchayat, registered a clear edge in the majority of block and grama panchayats and two of the municipalities.
Riding on a momentum triggered by the inclusion of the Kerala Congress (M) led by Jose K. Mani into its fold, the Left coalition also went on to win the Pala municipality for the first time in the 68-year-old history of the civic body, besides the Puthupally panchayat after a long two-and-half decades.
In the 22-member district panchayat, the LDF increased its tally to 14, from the eight it had in the outgoing council. At the same time, the strength of the UDF came down to seven from 14.
For the first time, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance wrested power in three grama panchayats including Mutholi and Pallikathodu, besides enhancing its representation in four out of the six municipalities.
At the same time, the coalition drew a blank across the 11 block panchayats and even lost three of its sitting seats there.
Out of the 71 grama panchayats, the LDF increased its tally to 39 from 23 while the UDF has a clear majority in only 24 panchayats, down from 47 last year. The BJP, which had focussed its attention in grama panchayats, has 88 representatives across grama panchayats.
Among the six municipalities, the LDF won the Pala municipality by a clear margin of 16 seats while independents will decide the fate of Changanassery, Ettumanur, Kottayam, Erattupetta and Vaikom.
While the entry of KC(M) has helped the LDF to make deep inroads into the district, the infighting between the Congress and KC(M) Joseph group worsened the matters for the UDF.
The BJP, meanwhile, has been able to increase its dormant vote bank, which had gone to the UDF kitty earlier.