At the Ernakulam South bus stand, Parvathy and Indu were waiting to catch a bus to Thrissur. “We had come for some personal work here. At Thrissur, we have started to hear UDF candidate Padmaja Venugopal’s announcements. Her party workers seem to be proactive. LDF doesn’t have a chance. The BJP candidate is Suresh Gopi, but we have not seen him or his party members canvassing for votes,” underscored Parvathy, who is in her mid-forties.
On the road from Ernakulam to Kottayam, posters of KC (M)’s candidates can be seen all through the way with the two leaves symbol. They are a part of LDF this election after Jose K Mani joining it in October 2020, just two months before the Panchayat elections. They had been a part of UDF for decades.
However, after his move to LDF, KC (M) got overwhelming support in the Travancore and the high ranges (Peermade, Kothamangalam, Kumily) in the Panchayat elections. This has given hope to LDF for the Assembly elections too.
Crossing Thalayolaparabu in Kottayam district but belonging to Vaikom Assembly constituency, the bus driver Shaji said, “LDF’s CK Asha is the incumbent. LDF has always won this seat since mid 1990s. She is contesting this time too. UDF has also fielded a woman PR Sona. She was the former Kottayam municipal chairperson. LDF has always won the seat but Sona was a good corporator. It will be a good contest.”
At Kaduthuruthy Assembly seat in Kottayam district, Mons Joseph is the current MLA. He used to be with KC (M) but after the death of KM Mani, when the party split into Mani faction and PJ Joseph faction, he joined hands with Joseph. He resigned from his seat to avoid complications in contesting the current elections. As of now the P.J. Joseph faction does not have a symbol. KC (M) has fielded Stephen George from Kaduthuruthy.
“Don’t go by posters. LDF has a lot of money and Congress and UDF have no money. Posters are not the decisive factor in who we will vote for. In Kaduthuruthy, Mons is a force to reckon with. He can be with any party, but he has worked for the people here. The fight in KC (M) was distasteful,” said Shiny, who was on her way to Changanassery.
At Thiruvalla, LDF’s Mathew T Thomas belonging to Janata Dal is the candidate. He has been winning since 2006, before which it was the united KC(M) seat in UDF.
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