The poll results of Angamaly and Aluva constituencies have exposed the chinks in the armour of the Left Democratic Front (LDF).
Expectations were high in Angamaly after the Communist Party of India(Marxist) [CPI(M)] agreed to the candidature of Jose Thettayil of the Janata Dal (S). A two-time MLA and former Minister, Mr. Thettayil’s name had raised the stakes in the contest after many termed it a “neck-and-neck race”.
But, the results proved otherwise. Congress candidate Roji M. John retained his winning streak by an improved margin, compared to the elections held in 2016. From a lead of 9,186 votes in 2016, he improved his margin to 15,543 votes this time. Mr. Thettayil failed to secure a lead even in his booth, where Mr. John was ahead with over 200 votes.
The Left camp will have much to think about as it could not cash in on the pro-incumbency wave. A campaign that Mr. Thettayil could be a possible Minister in the wake of an LDF win also failed to connect with the voters.
The situation in Aluva was no different. By fielding the daughter-in-law of six-time Congress MLA K. Mohammadali, the LDF had anticipated making dents in the traditional vote base of the Congress. However, it did not yield any major results. Anwar Sadath, who had a hat-trick win, secured the lead in all the booths.
Even in Edathala and Keezhmadu panchayats where the LDF is in power, the Congress candidate earned a considerable lead over Shelna Nishad, who had entered the political arena as an Independent candidate of the Left. She not only failed to secure the lead in her booth, but also went down to the third position. M.N. Gopi of the Bharatiya Janata Party was in the second place in her booth.
The Left poll machinery was found moving at a snail’s place at various stages of the campaign. There was criticism among a section of the cadre that the CPI(M) could have fielded its own candidate in the constituency instead of an Independent candidate.