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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightThe election result of...

The election result of Puthupally

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The election result of Puthupally
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The answer regarding the successor of Oommen Chandy in the Puthupally constituency has now been revealed. As expected, Oommen Chandy's son has become a member of the legislative assembly, securing a historic margin. The LDF, which entered the electoral contest with the dream of reaching the magic number of 100 in the legislative assembly with Jake C. Thomas, had to face a significant defeat. When analyzing the by-elections in Kerala held after the death of an elected member, several factors such as the clear waves of empathy, the political and social dynamics in Puthupally, and the current political situation in the state have made Chandy Oommen's victory apparent since the election declaration. During the election campaign, it was evident that beyond mere political claims, LDF leaders did not have any alternative thoughts. However, Chandy Oommen's substantial margin and the leakage of votes on the opposition fronts would astonish anyone. The election result makes it clear that this victory was not solely a result of empathetic waves but holds multi-level political significance. The political statements that emerged from different quarters after the election results underscore this fact.

Setting aside the empathetic wave caused by the death of Oommen Chandy, the LDF had a solid ground for a strong electoral competition in Puthupally. It's widely acknowledged that the political dynamics in Puthupally have been changing over the last few years. In the local body elections held in 2020, the LDF managed to win power in 6 out of 8 panchayats, a trend that also resonated in the Assembly elections held the following year. With only a 9,000-vote lead, Oommen Chandy crossed the threshold during that time. This was cited as an overtly favourable sign for the LDF in a constituency that had long been considered the Congress and Oommen Chandy's stronghold. The shift of a fraction of the Kerala Congress to the LDF camp and the disarray in the organizational system of the Congress party in Kottayam and Puthupally were also reasons for the changing electoral pattern. It was because of these factors and the hope of capitalizing on the favourable situation that the LDF gave Jake C. Thomas another chance. The Left Front might have believed that it could overcome the empathetic wave by raising issues like the stagnation of development in the constituency. However, even if one argues that the empathetic wave helped the Congress, the election results show that the aforementioned favourable situation had been lost for the LDF. The UDF secured 12 per cent more votes than it had in the 2021 elections, while the LDF lost 9 per cent of its vote share, and the NDA suffered a 3 per cent drop in vote share. These results indicate that the Congress victory in Puthupally cannot be solely attributed to empathetic waves.

However, it is believed that the LDF leaders were not in a position to accept this fact. Even now, they view Oommen Chandy's legacy as the primary reason for their loss. CPM state secretary M. Govindan, who had earlier stated that the Puthupally election would evaluate the state government, has now retracted his earlier statement, saying that every angle will be scrutinized. In fact, the election has shown a strong opposition to the state government. During the election campaign, the UDF not only tried to keep Oommen Chandy's memories alive but also reminded the people of the failures of the LDF government. The UDF succeeded in bringing issues like the financial crisis, problems in the public distribution system, and corruption charges against the government into the discussion. The LDF could not effectively counter these allegations. In addition, Congress leaders managed to resolve the crisis and conflicts within the party related to reorganization and restructured the organization in the constituency, which also benefited Chandy Oommen. The present results also make it clear that the cooperation from the Kerala Congress was not as promising this time compared to the 2021 elections. In short, the empathetic wave, anti-government sentiments, and the inner workings of the social and political system have also been reflected in this election. With these elements, Chandy Oommen achieved a record victory. The election also demonstrated that in the state's political arena, the BJP is still insignificant. It can be assumed that the result is a response to the changing preferences of people who previously favoured the Central government and Sangh Parivar. This is also the reason why the BJP's vote share declined by half. Technically, the Puthupally election may not have significant implications. It was merely a competition for the UDF to maintain its strength and for the LDF to reach the dream number of 100 in the State Assembly. Nevertheless, when the election results are analyzed, they provide many lessons for both political fronts. This result offers several insights into the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The question that remains is how our political fronts will interpret these results at this moment.

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TAGS:Puthupally electionby-pollOmen ChandiChandi OmenCongress PartyLDFUDFBJPState government
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