THIRUVANANTHAURAM: The shock defeat in the sitting seat of Aroor has triggered a fresh controversy in the CPM after the state secretariat's preliminary assessment attributed it to public works minister G. Sudhakaran's ‘Poothana’ jibe at UDF candidate Shanimol Usman and the case registered against her for preventing officials from discharging their duties.
The secretariat which met at the AKG Centre here on Friday felt that the controversial remarks and the case could have been avoided. Both these developments had deprived the LDF candidate of the votes that would have normally come to ruling front's kitty, it felt.
The state secretariat has since asked Alappuzha district committee to probe the reasons behind the defeat of Manu C. Pulickal. The LDF assembly committee will also examine the circumstances that led to loss and submit a report to the state leadership.
The secretariat felt that Aroor and Ernakualm were two seats which the LDF could have won. Heavy rains in Ernakulam on the polling day had affected the ruling front also. About 4000 to 5000 votes could not be polled as voters stayed indoors because of the heavy rains and water logging in polling booths.
One of the reasons for the poor showing of LDF in Manjeshwaram was attributed to the statement made by the candidate Shankar Rai. His repeated statements about being a die-hard believer had not gone down well with the minorities. His position on Sabarimala was also not in line with the LDF's broader outlook which befitted the UDF candidate M.C. Kamruddin.
Meanwhile, Mr Sudhakaran is annoyed over the manner in which the entire blame for the defeat is being put on his controversial remarks. He felt that there was a dip in support among some communities especially in the coastal areas. In his assessment, about 10,000 votes of the BJP went to the UDF candidate. Had the sympathy not worked in favour of Usman, her victory margin would not have been slender, according to him.
Jibe pained me, says Shanimol Usman
Newly elected legislator from Aroor Shanimol Usman on Friday said the 'Poothana' jibe by PWD minister G. Sudhakaran during the campaign had pained her immensely as it was an insult to womanhood.
Ms Usman was responding to the controversy around the minister's remarks which has created ripples even in his party.
Ms Usman said her political career was affected because she aired her opinions openly in the party, including her disagreements.
The disciplined works of UDF ensured her victory, Ms Usman said at a meet-the- press programme here.
"I will give first preference for the basic developmental works of Aroor as its MLA," she said. "That the rural belt of Aroor does not have good roads is a serious issue which I shall attend on priority. Aroor is facing acute shortage of potable water, too. Absence of waste treatment facilities is another major issue. I will try for solution to these problems."...