Thiruvananthapuram: Election result of Pala constituency, known as the turf of KM Mani, will be crucial for both ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF). The coalitions were expecting simultaneous elections in six constituencies which are vacant. As that did not happen, the whole attention and force of the coalitions will be concentrated in Pala.
The result of Pala will affect other five bypolls, necessitated by the legislators there getting elected to the Lok Sabha, to be held within months. Hence, the coalitions will try to win the elections at any cost.
The Left front, which suffered a huge blow in Lok Sabha elections, badly needs a victory to patch up the set back though the constituency is not their sitting seat. A victory is also indispensable to uphold the image of the government too. They are relieved mainly for the reason that KM Mani is not at the helm of the opposite bloc.
The Left front calculates that as the majority of KM Mani had come down to just 4,703 votes in the last election and there is rife duel inside Kerala Congress, the constituency will lean towards them. An LDF meeting to be convened on Wednesday will take a decision on seat division.
UDF also cannot afford a loss as it will be read as an erosion of image after the unprecedented victory in the Lok Sabha election.
A loss will be irreparable not just for the Kerala Congress but for UDF too. UDF will be trying to turn the gloomy mood prevailing in Pala after the demise of Mani, into votes.
But an election amidst an unsettled dispute inside the Kerala Congress, will mean a head-ache for UDF.
The first challenge will be to assuage Jose K Mani and PJ Joseph, who are in a vicious fight for control of the party. Though Joseph may not lay claim for the seat known as Mani's turf, he will seize the opportunity to have more control in the party.
It is learnt that a member of Mani family will be the candidate. Joseph may not oppose this. However, Joseph may take this opportunity to coax his rivals to accept his demands.
BJP had garnered 24,821 votes in Pala in the last election. In Lok Sabha elections too, BJP had a good share of votes. This time the saffron party is pinning more hopes as PC George's Janapaksham is alled with the BJP coalition.