THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As the campaigning for the Chengannur by-election ended on Saturday, the Congress and CPM exuded confidence that they would win the poll. They claim that their candidates have received encouraging response from the voters. Congress sources said that UDF candidate D. Vijayakumar will romp home by a margin of 6,000- plus votes as all the top leaders have been campaigning for him.
However, the CPM points out the minority aversion to the BJP and the advantage Mr Saji Cherian enjoys as candidate of the ruling front as factors that would see him though. Mr Vijayakumar is a local leader who has close contacts with nearly every voter. Former KPCC president V. M. Sudheeran told DC that the Congress will gain due to the clean image of the candidate. "Even the wives of CPM workers in the party's strongholds expressed their support to Vijayakumar when I visited the areas. I had distributed prizes for students who won A+ in their exams at a place where the parents praised Vijayakumar," said Mr Sudheeran.
The UDF also received a boost with the backing extended by the Kerala Congress (Mani). However, the LDF pins its hopes on the fact that SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellapally Natesan has supported the candidate who helps the Ezhava community. His stand will benefit Mr Saji Cherian, say CPM sources.
Towards the fag end of the campaign, Congress leaders like Joseph Vazhakkan and K. P. Anil Kumar unleashed an attack against Mr Saji Cherian. Mr Anil Kumar told DC, "Vijayakumar is destined to become a legislator and his time has come. There are no negatives against him," he said. The outcome of the keenly contested fight will be known on Thursday and it will be a litmus test to measure the popularity of the three fronts....