Kerala Local Polls 2020: LDF wins in Pala municipality for first time ever

LDF candidates won 17 seats in Pala, while UDF secured 8 seats and an independent candidate won in one ward of the municipality.
Jose K Mani
Jose K Mani
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As the Kerala local body polls results were being announced on Thursday, people in Pala of Kottayam district once again proved that they are with KM Mani and his team, irrespective of the political front they belong to. As the Kerala Congress (Mani) party, now headed by Jose K Mani, joined hands with CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, the Left Front has won the Pala Municipality. With this, for the first time in the state’s political history, LDF barrelled into UDF’s bastion in Kottayam.

The LDF candidates clenched 17 seats in Pala, while UDF got 8 seats and an independent candidate won one ward of the municipality. Among the 17 seats, 11 were won by KC(M). Meanwhile, Kerala Congress Joseph faction, a splinter party of KC (M) could get only three seats in the municipality.

Pala Municipality is the Christian party, Kerala Congress (Mani)’s hometown. "This (the victory) shows people's love to KM Mani. This is a glorious victory for LDF in central Travancore. This is a reply for those who cheated KM Mani. People are with LDF," Jose K Mani, KM Mani’s son and chief of Kerala Congress (Mani), told media on Thursday.

In 2015 Kerala local body elections, when the KC (M) was with UDF, the Front had won 20 seats, while LDF secured only three. BJP had bagged only one seat in 2015 but this time, they have lost their sitting seat. Out of the 20 seats UDF secured in 2015, 18 were won by KC (M).

It was in October this year that KC (M) joined LDF, severing ties with its old ally, the United Democratic Front. To contest in the local polls, they had a clash with Kerala Congress PJ Joseph faction, over the party symbol of two leaves. But the Kerala High Court gave the symbol to KC (M).

KC (M) was ousted from UDF following a clash with the Joseph group. Though UDF later was ready to take them back, the Kerala Congress (M) faction joined LDF. Following this, the UDF leaders termed them “traitors”. Meanwhile, Kerala Congress Joseph faction continued its alliance with UDF.

UDF had expected that people might not accept Jose K Mani since he joined hands with the LDF. The results, however, seem to suggest otherwise, indicating that voters are not bothered about the Front that the KC(M) belongs to.

Meanwhile, in Thodupuzha municipality in Idukki district, where the Kerala Congress PJ Joseph faction had a stronghold, UDF got 10 seats. Fourteen independent candidates won in the municipality. In the last local body elections, UDF had 12 seats in Thodupuzha.

Comparing to the 2015 local body elections, LDF secured less in Thodupuzha. While in the 2015 elections, the LDF had secured 13 seats, this year, they won only four seats. This time, the decision of independent candidates would decide who would govern the municipality

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