UDF leaders introspect on civic polls

IUML, KC (Joseph) blame Cong. rebels’ role in the defeat of UDF candidates

It was a day of confessions and introspection for the Congress and the UDF partners in Kochi.

While representatives of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Kerala Congress (Joseph) came down on the Congress for the role played by party rebels in the defeat of UDF candidates, Congress leaders pointed fingers at front partners, especially the League, for their failure to placate rebels in West Kochi.

The meeting felt that the flawed selection of candidates, rebels, and the presence of V4 Kochi robbed the UDF of at least 10 to 15 seats in the Kochi Corporation.

Congress leaders conceded that a few party rebels, who enjoyed the clandestine support of some party leaders and workers, pulled the rug from under the UDF candidates in many local bodies of the district.

The Congress, it was conceded, underestimated the might of V4 Kochi. The party failed to foresee the fact that the non-political formation could eat into its vote share. The votes mustered by the formation were instrumental in ensuring the defeat of some UDF candidates.

The League leadership came under criticism from Congress leaders for failing to mollify party rebels, including T.K. Ashraf, who won by defeating all political formations. Though the State leaders of the League were apprised of the threat posed by rebels and the possibility of them ruining the party for the UDF in Kochi Corporation, the obstinate stand adopted by some local leaders culminated in a poll debacle in the West Kochi region. The party lost around six seats due to a host of factors in the region, it was reported.

The shifting of loyalty of the Kerala Congress faction led by Jose K. Mani from the UDF to the LDF had little impact on the poll outcome, as the faction loyal to Mr. Joseph made better gains in the district, it was reported.

The general impression of the meeting was that the front fared well in the district except in the Kochi Corporation.

K.P. Dhanapalan, KPCC vice president, presided over the meeting, as the UDF district chairman, Dominic Presentation, was in quarantine after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. DCC president T.J. Vinod, MLA, too did not turn up, as he was convalescing after getting infected.

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