The local body bye-elections held in 10 districts of Kerala for a total of 20 seats saw the Left Democratic Front (LDF) emerge victorious, winning a total of 13 seats. Meanwhile, the United Democratic Front (UDF) secured six seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured one seat. Out of the 13 seats won by LDF, five seats belonged to the UDF previously.
This victory for the LDF comes at a time when the BJP and Congress groups are protesting against the Pinarayi Vijayan-led State government for their stand in the Sabarimala issue.
In Thiruvananthapuram, R Pushpan of LDF won at Meenmutty in the Nanniyode Panchayat with a majority of 106 votes. And at the same time, BJP won the seat of the UDF in Navaikulam for a margin of 24 votes.
Out of the three seats in Kollam, LDF won two seats. Bindu Balakrishnan, an LDF candidate of Kollam Sasthamkotta Bharanikkavu town ward, won with a lead of 199 votes.
In Idukki district, LDF won two seats out of the three wards, where the elections were held. PC Sugandhi, an LDF candidate won in Inchikkad ward in Vandiperiyar and in the Vellimala ward of Vandanmedu, and Ajo Varghese, an independent Left candidate won by a margin of 20 votes. Meanwhile, Bindu Nedumparakkal, a UDF candidate won in the Eastward of Nedumkandam.
In Thrissur, LDF lost their seat in the Kaipamangalam ward to UDF candidate Jancy, who won by a margin of 65 votes.
In Ernakulamâ€™s Pothanicad, Geeta Sasikumar, an LDF candidate won by a margin of 28 votes, whereas UDF retains the ward in Cheenikuzhy in Mazhuvannoor.
UDF candidate PC Ashraf won in the Thuvakkad division in Malappuram district, whereas in ward number 21 of the Kizhakkencherry panchayat in Palakkad district, N Ramakrishnan, a Left candidate won.
LDF candidate Sunitha Malayil won by a margin of 226 votes in Ayancheri in Kozhikode district. Even the Kaitheri ward in Kannur went to the Left front. In Kolachery division of Edakkad in Kannur, LDF gained the seat from the United Democratic Front.
CPI(M) candidate KN Aneesh won by a margin of 475 votes in ward number 6 of the Thalassery Corporation. LDF candidate Sherley Krishnan won in the Sulthan Bathery Corporation of Wayanad district.
At a time when the CPI(M)led Left Democratic Front has been in the line of fire due to various controversies (such as the Sabarimala protest and the Brewery controversy), the victory in the local body bye-elections is an important milestone and one that will give the Left front the much-needed boost.