Thiruvananthapuram: The setback suffered by the UDF in the by-elections evoked sharp responses from Congress leaders who blamed the party’s lapses for the reverses. K. Muraleedharan MP, N. Peethambara Kurup and Congress candidate in Vattiyoorkavu K. Mohan kumar defied the KPCC directive to the leaders not to openly air their views and asked the party to introspect on its poor performance.
Mr Muraleedharan alleged that LDF won in Vattiyoorkavu due to its alliance with the RSS. The NSS supported the UDF as it took a strong stand to protect religious faith. “There is no point in disowning the NSS just because of the poll debacle,” he said.
“Though KPCC president Mullapally Ramachandran, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and I had warned of RSS cross-voting, it was ignored. When Kummanam Rajasekha-ran was replaced with S. Suresh, the BJP disappeared from the campaign,” he alleged.
Dewaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran and others wooed Ezhava voters and some strong UDF supporters changed their minds, he added.
The LDF introduced V. K. Prasanth as ‘Mayor Bro’ for the elections though he had mishandled the flood relief operations. He also got the advantage of being young while the Congress candidate had only less public contact leading to the LDF victory, Mr Muraleedharan observed.
He said he had not suggested the name of the UDF candidate though initially the name of Peethambara Kurup was proposed by all. “Later, Mohankumar was selected and I accepted it and campaigned for him,” he said.
“Though the victory in Aroor is a great achievement, the debacle in other seats is the result of the party’s lapses. There is no use blaming anyone for the failure. The party should improve its organisational system to be more efficient,” he said.
Mr Kurup said that many leaders had approached the election as if they were kings and surrendered the seat to the LDF. “I have no problem in not getting the seat. However, time is ripe for the party to get proper treatment instead of blaming the NSS. The loss happened due to the lack of morale of the UDF workers,” said Kurup.
Mohankumar felt that the party had failed to counter the false propaganda on the NSS support. Corrective steps were needed after proper evaluation. “Though committees headed by C.V. Padmarajan and Vakkom Purushothaman were formed to study the past debacles, nothing had happened. This should not repeat,” he said....