Smaller parties, rebels may play spoilsport in capital

Victory margins in many Corporation wards were less than 100 or in single digits in 2015

A look at the victory margins in the city Corporation in the 2015 local body elections throw up an interesting picture. Out of the total hundred wards, the victory margin was fewer than 100 votes in as many as 16 wards, with three wards having single-digit margins. In 14 wards, the victory margin was between 100 and 200 votes.

In some of these wards, the presence of smaller parties or rebel candidates played spoilsport with the plans of the three major fronts, with the few hundred votes polled by them becoming the deciding factor in the final result, even though these parties might never reach anywhere close to victory. For instance, in Pattom, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate won by a mere 23 votes, while the United Democratic Front (UDF) rebel polled close to a 100 votes.

This time too, the major fronts are wary of the presence of such dampeners even in their ‘sure’ seats.

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), which had contested in 10 wards last time without much success, is contesting in 21 wards this time around, with a special focus on coastal wards.

In coastal wards

“Our main alliance is with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). We are also in talks with the district committees of the Welfare Party of India and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as well as with other parties. We are having candidates in coastal wards, including Beemapally East, Puthenpally, Vallakadavu and Ambalathara. We were able to come second in one ward last time. Our hope is that our interventions in issues in coastal areas, especially during the pandemic, will help us,” said Siyad Kandala, district president of the SDPI.

Other formations

The Thiruvananthapuram Vikasana Munnettam (TVM), a party floated by a collective of capital-based social media groups, professional organisations, real-estate developers’ collectives, traders organisations and residents’ associations raising a ‘pro-development’ slogan, has also announced candidates for 12 wards, with more in the offing.

Added to this mix are the aggrieved members of the major parties contesting as rebels. While the UDF faces the prospect of having the most number of rebels, the Left Democratic Fronts and the BJP too are wary of rebels spoiling their plans in some wards.

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