There is no dearth of excuses and accusations even as the ‘rapid’ by-elections following the demise of Oommen Chandy are coming to an end. The ruling party leaders believe that the wave of sympathy is behind the Pudupally election results. At the same time, the UDF leaders are of the opinion that anti-government sentiment has been stirred up. In this context, Youth Congress State General Secretary Abin Varki gave a special interview to Kodiyat Manorama Online.
∙ Minister VN Vasavan and Left Front candidate Jake C. said that the announcement of elections in Puthupally within days of Oommen Chandy’s death was part of the Congress-BJP agreement. Thomas also alleged.
Shamsul Haq, CPM MLA from Boxanagar constituency in Tripura, passed away a day after Oommen Chandy’s death. The by-election was held there on the same day as the Pudupally by-election. So, was the by-election in Boxanagar constituency announced so soon according to the agreement between CPM and BJP? The people of Puthupally gave the UDF a record majority. These allegations are part of the CPM’s attempt to gain some weight after suffering a heavy defeat. The people of Kerala are well aware of the relationship between CPM and BJP. The people of Kerala know that the SNC Lavlin case against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was adjourned 34 times, the Central Government’s slowness in many corruption allegations related to the Chief Minister’s office and finally the Income Tax Dispute Resolution Board’s report regarding the Chief Minister’s daughter Veena and the Central Government’s silence on it are all due to the CPM-BJP agreement.
∙ The response of the LDF is that the wave of sympathy is reflected in the result of the Pudupally by-election.
Sympathy Wave Jake C. During the first days of the campaign, including Minister VN Vasavan said that he was in favor of Thomas. Later CPM Chandy resorted to personal insults against Oommen Chandy’s family members including Oommen and Achu Oommen. CPM’s later stand was that the discussion was about the development of Pudupally. They were repeating it till last night. People evaluated the work done in Oommen Chandy constituency in the last 53 years including development. CPM state secretary M.V. said that the election result will also be evaluated by the government. Govindan announced. The people of Puthupalli voted based on all this.
UDF candidate Chandy Oommen sharing joy with activists. (Photo: John M. Chandy ∙ Manorama Online)
The by-elections during Onam gave the UDF some advantages. It is very clear that not a single person who went shopping during Onam voted for the CPM. Because they experienced the rise in prices firsthand. Last Onam, the government gave kits to more than 87 lakh people, this time it has decided to give free Onkits to only 6.07 lakh people. It could not be given completely. People are well aware of the Chief Minister and the CPM who cannot utter a single word about the allegations of corruption. ,
It is very clear that the country has ruled against the attempt to insult Pudupally. Throughout the campaign, the CPM said that the situation of 1960 is still prevailing in Puthupally. The result of this election is that the CPM, which hunted Oommen Chandy while he was still alive, started hunting him even when he was in his grave. Their current excuses are merely excuses to cover up the impact of defeat.
∙ About the dreamlike majority given by Puthupally?
The UDF had earlier stated that there would be a dream majority in the Pudupally by-election. Such confidence was expressed on the basis of the firm conviction that there was a political situation for it. During the campaign, it was evident that there was overwhelming popular sentiment against the government, especially Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The huge lead that the UDF got in all the places where the Chief Minister campaigned is a proof of this. In the election, the UDF managed to get a lead in all but one booth. Even in panchayats lost to UDF last time, it was able to make great progress. The CPM leaders are shocked by the election results.
Mariamma Oommen, Oommen Chandy’s wife, shares her happiness during the counting of votes in the Pudupally by-election. (Photo: John M. Chandy ∙ Manorama Online)
∙ LDF alleges that UDF got BJP votes.
In 2021, Jake C. Thomas got 54,328 votes. This time 42,425 votes were received. This time the CPM got at least 11,903 votes. BJP got 11,694 votes in 2021. This time 6558 votes were received. This time BJP got at least 5,136 votes. These figures prove that the votes for CPM and BJP have decreased. When the CPM says that the UDF got 5,136 votes of the BJP, it should also be prepared to say where the 11,903 votes of the CPM went. Do you think that the CPM workers voted for the Congress on purpose? The infighting and group disputes in the CPM are no secret. Are CPM leaders alleging that CPM voters voted for UDF due to sectarianism in CPM?
UDF candidate Chandy Oommen with activists. (Photo: John M. Chandy ∙ Manorama Online)
We are sure of one thing. All good CPM members have voted for UDF this time. Because they have a lot of resentment towards Pinarayi Vijayan, hatred towards this regime… all these things went in favor of the UDF. All the true CPM members have a great protest and anger towards the policies of CPM and Pinarayi Vijayan, who confined communism in name only and became a bourgeois party in policies. Undoubtedly, it turned out to be a vote in favor of the UDF. If you look at the numbers and the current political situation, the CPM’s allegations will be dismissed by the masses.
∙ Election results prove that there has been no significant change in CPM’s base in Pudupally, MV said. Govindan said.
Puthupalli is the constituency where the CPM got 54,328 votes in the 2021 assembly elections. Also six panchayats are ruled by CPM. Constituency in Kottayam district where CPM has organizational structure. History has it that when CPM is in power, they get supremacy in by-elections. The CPM leaders had claimed that they would get a majority of 20,000 votes in Pudupally. Not only did they not get the majority of 20,000 votes expected by the CPM, the UDF got a record majority of 37,719 votes.
CPM leaders now claim that 54,328 votes were obtained in 2021 with the addition of additional votes received as part of the LDF wave. If so, don’t the CPM leaders themselves admit that the 11,903 voters who voted for them in 2021 have now abandoned them in the anti-government wave? Are they not implicitly admitting that by this the verdict against the Pinarayi Vijayan government has now been written? If they lose the vote they got in favor of the Pinarayi Vijayan government in 2021, is it not a vote against the government? It is clear that the foundation of CPM has been shaken. The vote count indicates that the true CPM members voted against this party and against the current government.
∙ Jake C. Thomas said that UDF’s political victory in Puthupally was not.
Oommen Chandy’s superiority as a candidate, the memory of Oommen Chandy’s work for the people of Puthupally for 53 years and people’s sentiment against the government came together when the UDF got such a large majority. There has been a huge drain on the CPM’s traditional and non-conventional votes. They go without saying that the foundation of the CPM has been shaken, the cornerstone itself has been shaken.
∙ Some CPM workers joked that the battle between Sari Visa and Fighter Visa is going on in Pudupally.
The CPM says that the fighter visa means destroying the college, being accused in the attempted murder case and causing student conflict in the country. The election results prove that the people despised all this. The people of Kerala became convinced when they saw the condition of the CPM leaders who came up with justifications for the allegations related to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s family who are taking Zari visas and becoming justice workers. It is understandable that all of them are justifying the Chief Minister. But when the CPM leaders went to the trouble of justifying even the Chief Minister’s daughter and grandson, it is clear on the basis of which sari visa.
English Summary: Special interview with Youth Congress state general secretary Abin Varkey Kodiyattu on Puthupally byelection result
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