The UDF delivered a knockout blow to the pro-development stance proclaimed by the ruling Left Democratic Front in Thrikkakara’s indirect vote.
What was billed as a tough contest by the DFL turned out to be a flop show as the opening round itself indicated – Uma Thomas’ lead increased to 2,518 from her husband’s 1,258 PT Thomas had a year ago in 2021. But then the first round count came from UDF strongholds in the company area. Nevertheless, the story only got bleaker for the DFL from there.
The LDF clearly boasted of their chances at Thrikkakara, a traditional UDF stronghold, which PT Thomas retained in 2021 with an increased margin of 14,239 from 11,996 in 2016 despite a wave of LDF sweeping the State and the Twenty20 eating almost as many votes as the margin of victory.
Everyone can assume that Twenty20 mainly drew its strength from the UDF voting base.
So what prompted the LDF to launch an overwhelming campaign amid perceived deep resentment against the Pinarayi government?
The answer lies in the CPM and DFL’s blind belief in Pinarayi Vijayan’s aggressive backing of the controversial Rs 63,000 crore SilverLine project, which aims to connect Kerala’s northern tip, Kasaragod, to the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. , at the southernmost point.
Connecting the northern and southernmost districts of Kerala in just four hours by train seems like a fanciful idea, but the socio-economic price involved for it was too scary.
Fair enough, Thrikkakara’s verdict cannot on its own be taken as a barometer of public sentiment towards Pinarayi’s K-rail project.
But the verdict comes as a voice of caution over how the state government has bulldozed protests over the land acquisition linked to it.
He also disapproves of the way the state administration has attacked anti-K-Rail protesters with stick force and the ruling regime’s cavalier approach to opposing forces.
Thrikkakara’s vote is also an indictment of the NDA regime at the Center, as it came at a time when households were feeling the pinch of soaring commodity prices.
Voters’ rage reportedly made no distinction between state and central government on this point and sided with the main opposition state and center party – Congress.
The UDF’s huge margin also reflects voters’ fears that any endorsement of the ruling fronts in the State and Center would be tantamount to inviting more authoritarian streaks than the Modi administration and Pinarayi regime ruthlessly displayed under a previous massive tenure. .
Voters were looking for a stick to strike at the regimes and as such Thrikkakara’s indirect vote was a godsend. Not an opportunity to correct a “mistake” made by Thrikkakara in the 2021 assembly polls as LDF claimed, but a corrective message to the ruling bench.
The LDF’s opportunistic celebration of KV Thomas in its desperate attempt to woo the Christian community backfired as voters saw it as a replica of the central BJP leadership doing its utmost to woo the leaders of the opposition without showing any concern about their previous political position.
The CPM’s sudden affection for disenchanted politicians leaving the fold of Congress was too much for voters to swallow. Perhaps the DFL sensed it, as evidenced by the fact that KV Thomas was kept out of active campaigning.
The DFL also faced the wrath of Twenty20 voters who gathered to vote against the CPM, which targeted its founders via raids on companies run by the Kitex group.
The BJP has also faced fury from the electorate as its share of voice dwindles despite relying on shrill voices of hate emanating from the political fringe to please it.
As a result, while its traditional voters have stayed put, the saffron camp has failed to win the trust of neutral voters without whom its Kerala plans are totally out of step with the mood of the electorate in India. State.
The BJP may not have realized that many political figures simply echo Hindutva sentiments, either because they watch political oblivion or to cling in one way or another. to the corridors of power that are becoming increasingly elusive.
The UDF’s flagging electoral fortunes have certainly taken a boost, but Thrikkakara should not be counted on as a sign of its resurgence.
Because Thrikkakara is more a negative vote against the ruling CPM-led LDF than a ratification for the Congress-led UDF.
And the ruling DFL would rather make amends to accommodate opposing views.
Showing a herd spirit by its absolute support for government decisions and relying on a well-oiled machinery of the party would not be enough to win over the electorate.
Remember, Pinarayi himself led the way on the campaign front, though CPM leaders now say it was a party show. This was not the case.
It should be seen as an inclusive front rather than taking up sticks against the layman haunted by the fear of displacement in a densely populated state in the name of development.
He must also check the unbridled power vested in the Chief Minister and ponder why blindly following one line of thought, whether that of the party or the CM, may not bode well for his political fortunes.
In other words, dissenting voices within the party and the Left Democratic Front cannot be stifled with disdain. Instead, such voices should be allowed to emerge louder to reflect the conscience of its supporters, if the party has any chance of retaining the overwhelming trust the electorate placed in it just a year ago.
That confidence quotient seems to be on the decline now.