Kochi, June 2 (Ajit Weekly News) With a day left for the outcome of the Thrikkakara Assembly bypoll on Friday, the heartbeats of both the Congress and the CPI-M leaderships in Kerala have increased.
While many expected the turnout to be the highest ever since the constituency came into being in 2011, however, when the polling ended it turned out to be the lowest ever with 68.77 per cent.
On Wednesday, last minute final analysis of the voting statistics were being done by the rival political fronts and at the end of the day, the CPI-M leadership appeared to have more smiles on their faces. Analysis showed that while the turnout in the Left strongholds was above 75 per cent, but in areas where the Congress has an upper hand the turnout was less than 60 per cent.
The election became a necessity after the sudden demise of two time Thrikkakara’s Congress legislator P.T. Thomas in December last year.
And even though the Congress perhaps for the first time without any internal squabbles named the widow of Thomas — Uma Thomas as their candidate and was the first to hit the campaign trail, the CPI-M after a while decided to go for a non-political Catholic Christian candidate, an interventional cardiologist — Joe Joseph, while the BJP decided to field their veteran — A.N. Radhakrishnan.
The edge in the campaign trail that the Congress candidate had was almost wiped out with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leading the campaign from the front, Not to be left out around 75 of their legislators and the entire Vijayan cabinet was stay put at Thrikkakara, till the last day of campaign.
Vijayan began his campaign on the plank of development and picturised the Congress as one against development. However, this failed to bring in much enthusiasm among the voters. The people towards the end of the campaign took up the issue of a fake video against their candidate and on the day of voting, the police arrested a person who they claimed was the activist of the Indian Union Muslim League- the second biggest ally of the Congress-led UDF.
Incidentally, one feature of the by-election was a massive influx of electoral campaigns in social media and on Thursday it was a smear campaign against Uma.
“All what I do in the name of P.T. Thomas is my personal thing and I dismiss all the things said against me with the contempt it deserves. We are confident that we are going to win and this increased hate campaign now against me is because they have realised what’s going to be the result,” said Uma.
But Joseph, who on Thursday got back to his job of seeing cardiac patients at the private hospital here where he works, said he is resuming his duties.
“I did not want a day to be lost, so I decided to get back to work. In our camp we are all confident and buzzing with activity. It seems a pall of gloom has befallen the Congress camp. We are supremely confident that we will hit a century with a six,” said Joseph.
The BJP candidate Radhakrishnan, who till the end of polling, said he will be the winner, but on Thursday he said he will get more votes (over 15,000) than his party candidate got in the 2021 April Assembly polls.
And now with just hours left to know who is the winner, certainly for the traditional rivals, it’s going to be a nail-biting finish when the counting of votes begins at 8 a.m. on Friday.
–Ajit Weekly News