Thiruvananthapuram, March 27(BPNS)
The Road shows conducted by former AICC president and senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has created a positive swing in favour of the UDF. The LDF which was on a winning streak, courtesy back to back opinion polls, is now on the defensive with leaders from Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to CPM acting secretary and LDF convenor, A Vijayaraghavan trying to defend the party and the left front.
Rahul Gandhi has connected with the youth, women and children and his public moves including sparring with a 2 nd degree black belt girl student at St Teresas College, Ernakulam as well as conversing with fishermen of Kollam in their own language and jumping to the sea along with them. These moves have endeared Rahul to the youths and women and this voter base seems to have swung in favour of the Congress and UDF after the extensive road shows conducted by Rahul.
Interestingly Congress party has brought out a list featuring young leaders, many of them professionals including doctors, engineers and lawyers and with grass root connect. This section of young and spotlessly clean candidates have ,in addition to the road shows and public programmes of Rahul Gandhi given an edge to the UDF.
With the controversies ranging from Sprinkler data, Gold smuggling, Dollar Smuggling, Life mission issue and Deep sea trawling seems to have taken its toll on the LDF.
While the CPM and the LDF are putting a brave face in public, the confidence level of the party seems to have reduced quite a lot and in private several senior leaders have admitted that a continuation of the government is almost gone.
A senior party leader from Kannur district on conditions of anonymity said, “ We were sitting pretty and the candidate selections resulted in some issues. In Alappuzha district party should not have shelved both Thomas Issac and G Sudhakaran, it will make a difference and similarly the Muslim vote bank which the party was eagerly expecting to swing its favour seems to be moving towards the Muslim League. The only consolation was Jose K Mani, but it has to be seen how his party performs amidst stiff opposition from a section of the clergy.”
He adds, “The nail in the coffin is owing to the deep sea trawling MOU with the American company EMCC. This deal have distanced us from the coastal belt which accounts for 48 seats, half of which if we loose its curtains.”
With the BJP campaign not gaining momentum and Congress and UDF gaining strength by the day, it seems that the state is witnessing a close fight with advantage UDF.