LDF hopeful of repeating Pala in October 21 byelections

The Left camp says Pala election result has given an advantage to the ruling front.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With just a day left for the campaigning to end in five Assembly constituencies which are going to polls on October 21, the ruling LDF is hopeful of a positive result on the strength of government's performance, Pala result and the widespread ‘’disenchantment' against the BJP-led central government's `anti-people' policies.

The Left camp says Pala election result has given an advantage to the ruling front. "We have high hopes in all five constituencies. Our optimism is due to Pala result. In a constituency where the UDF had a margin of 33,000 votes, we were only hopeful of reducing the vote difference. But the victory not only came as a bonus, it has also boosted the morale of our cadre," said CPI central secretariat member Pannyan Raveendran.

However, political observers believe that it's advantage UDF in Manjeshwaram, Konni and Ernakulam. The LDF stands a fair chance in Vattiyoorkavu though it's a UDF stronghold. Aroor is clearly within its striking range.

The Left camp feels that there is clear shift in the voting pattern compared to Lok Sabha polls. A section of people particularly farmers and minorities who rallied behind the UDF in parliamentary polls, either kept away or voted differently in Pala bypoll.

In Konni, the electoral battle isn't going to be easy for LDF firsttimer K.U. Janesh Kumar. The Left initially thought that a sulking Adoor Prakash could make things difficult for UDF. But with KPCC leadership managing to bring him around, the UDF looks more united now.

"The LDF candidate is not well known. He is a low-profile leader. On the other hand NSS factor might help UDF candidate who also has the backing of all factions at least for now," said political analyst Joseph C Mathew.

The BJP might find it difficult to retain even its Lok Sabha vote share when K.Surendran was pitted against two Christian candidates. This time all three principal candidates are Hindus.

Many believe the open call given by NSS in support of UDF could trigger counter consolidation of other communities in favour of LDF. But among the five constituencies, the most significant electoral battle will be witnessed in Vattiyoorkavu.

If LDF manages to pull off a victory in Vattiyoorkavu despite NSS factor and strong presence of BJP, it would perhaps chart a new political course in the state.

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