Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF claimed that its results have improved compared to the last local body election, while also stating that it will take corrective steps.

Collage of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Health Minister KK Shailaja and CPI(M) chief Sitaram Yechury
news Kerala Local Body Polls 2020 Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 20:09

“People's mandate shows how they have ignored the false propaganda and attacks aimed at the Left government. Kerala has won," LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan told the media after the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front registered victory in the 2020 Kerala local body elections on Wednesday. The Left government, which has been facing major controversies over the last few months, swept majority seats of the local bodies in the state. "This is a proud moment. We are thanking the people who stood with LDF,” said Vijayaraghavan.

As of 7 pm on Wednesday, CPI(M)-led LDF won in 407 gram panchayats out of the total 941 panchayats and is leading in 107, while Congress-led UDF has won in 252 and is leading in 125. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has won in four gram panchayats and is leading in 19.

"There were many hurdles for the state government, including natural disasters and COVID-19 pandemic. False propaganda was massively aimed at the government. There were many controversies. Even the anti-Communist media stuck to these rows. But the government did not keep aside its duty to people. Futuristic projects were implemented. People have stood with the government and have upheld the values of the Left front," said Vijayaraghavan.

Thanking Kerala for reposing faith in LDF, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "We are humbled by the trust and the confidence of the people of Kerala. This is a victory for secularism and inclusive development."

Watch video of Vijayaraghavan's reaction

Prominent Left leaders of the state also said that the election results show the people's mandate and that the Left government will continue to be in power in the state.

"It was certain that people wouldn't ignore us. We were attacked from four sides, but we stood with people and did all development activities for them. And people have rewarded us. They want the Left government to continue; that is the mandate. Whoever tries to stop us, we will continue forward with welfare measures for people," said KK Shailaja, Kerala Health Minister.

Watch video of KK Shailaja's reaction

According to Minister for Industries EP Jayarajan, though the right-wing groups came together to oppose the Left government, people of Kerala stood with the Left. Meanwhile, AK Balan, Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes, hit out at the Congress, asking Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala to apologise for all the false allegations made against the government. "There has been no other time when we had been attacked like this. Will he at least apologise to the people?" asked the Minister.

LDF's latest ally Jose K Mani of the Kerala Congress (Mani) faction also lauded the LDF and his faction for the victory. "UDF had been trying to taint all the welfare schemes of LDF, but people realised what is true," he said. He also added that the victory is also the answer to "all those people who cheated Mani Sir," aiming at rival PJ Joseph faction of Kerala Congress and the UDF.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, too, said that this is the result of people's appreciation of work done by the LDF government, in terms of how it dealt with the natural disasters and the pandemic. “This also completely negates the entire disinformation campaign carried out by the BJP and Congress against the government, especially against the Chief Minister," he said.

Will take corrective steps: UDF

Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF claimed that its results have improved compared to the last local body elections, while also stating that it will take corrective steps.

"It is true that the UDF was not able to reach out to people properly about the corrupted governance of the Left government as we had aimed. However, compared to the previous year, our performance has improved this year," said Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala. He added that political issues will not majorly come as a decisive factor in local body polls, but only local issues. "It is here the LDF got an upper hand," he added.

Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee President Mullappally Ramachandran claimed that it was only in 2010 that UDF had shown an outstanding performance in the polls in the past 25 years. "There is nothing for the LDF to be overwhelmed as they are now,"  he said. Former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also hinted that the party and the front will take corrective steps if necessary.

Watch video of UDF's press meet

UDF’s allies have also hinted that the front’s poor performance was due to the Congress. PJ Joseph of the rival Kerala Congress (M) faction, said that his faction showed good performance in the majority of the seats and that there is no unity in Congress. Stating that the strongholds of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) are 'safe', PK Kunhalikutty said that the UDF will scrutinise the results closely.

Meanwhile, BJP president K Surendran stated that there was a nexus between LDF and UDF to prevent BJP's rise. "LDF's victory is the result of this nexus. Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala are answerable for this," he said.


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