The massive victory of the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the Kerala local body elections once again set the seal on the unbeaten leadership of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The CPI(M)-led LDF has a clear dominance across all tyres of the local self-government. LDF has won 514 of the 940 gram panchayats, 110 of the 152 block panchayats, 10 of the 14 district panchayats and 35 of the 86 municipalities. The Left Front has also won five of the six corporation seats.
According to the left circle, the victory has multiple meanings. First, people voted for good governance which was tangible in the ground level. Secondly, people turned their back on the plethora of allegations raised by BJP and UDF. Third, the multiple investigations by the central agencies, keeping the government in the dock, were taken by the people only with a pinch of salt.
Left leaders say the victory of the LDF is also a “tight slap” on the face of a certain section of media who they allege had tried to build a right-wing narrative against the government.
The NDA has only managed to improve its current tally by winning one more municipality (Panthalam in Pathanamthitta district) in addition to the existing seat in Palakkad. It has also won 23 gram panchayats, an improvement from the existing 14.
This, however, is no reason for the BJP to celebrate, as it has suffered a huge setback in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation. The LDF has the won the corporation with 52 seats against NDA 35. The Congress-led UDF has managed to win only 10 seats.
The BJP which had eye on the Thrissur Corporation has been able to secure only six of the 54 seats. LDF captured the Corporation with the majority of one seat-24 wards for LDF and 23 for UDF.
The block and District panchayat as well as corporation largely reflect political voting which clearly goes in favour of the LDF.
In the gram panchayat level, there are factors other than politics. However, the thumping victory of the left in the Gram Panchayat is also a sign of the success of the various welfare measures implemented by the government including ‘LIFE mission project’, welfare pensions, ration scheme, the renovation of public schools and government hospitals, the infrastructure development by making use of KIIFB fund etc. UDF has also maintained its strong presence in municipalities by winning 45 out of 86, four more than it won in 2015.
The Pinarayi government has had to face multiple turmoils — the flood, the outbreak of Nipah and then COVID and the way it dealt with the crisis situations is said to have widened his mass base.
Here are some interesting highlights of the results
- B Gopalakrishan, the ‘star panellist’ of BJP and its voice on TV channels was defeated in a division in which the party was in power in the Thrissur Corporation.
- The BJP has won the Panthalam Municipality, the place which is believed to be the birth place of Lord Ayyappa.
- The LDF has won the Puthuppalli Panchayat in Kottayam district, the home constituency of Congress leader and former chief minister Oomman Chandy; and a Congress bastion of 20 years.
- The voters of Vadakkanchery municipality seem to have rejected all the allegations against the ‘LIFE Mission project’. The housing programme under LIFE Mission in this Municipality was under the scanner of CBI and Enforcement Directorate. LDF has made a comfortable victory there.