Thiruvananthapuram: With Congress candidate Chandy Oommen winning the September 5 Puthuppally bypoll hands down, the traditional political rivals find themselves going back to the drawing board in view of the nearing Lok Sabha polls.
Chandy Oommen won with a record breaking majority of 37,719 votes and the worst hit on account of it is Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose stock is now hovering at rock bottom for multiple reasons and the CPI(M) cadre is reportedly not pleased with his style of functioning. So are the other Left allies, as at present of the 20 Lok Sabha seats, 19 are with the Congress-led UDF.
Though the CPI(M) top brass tried to play down the defeat at Puthuppally, according to sources in the know of things, an air of displeasure has
started blowing at all levels of the party especially at the lowest levels, which is the backbone of the party.
Both Vijayan and state party secretary M.V.Govindan watched Chandy racing to a record-breaking win and after a while the former left the state party headquarters and Govindan, facing a volley of questions, tried his best to shield Vijayan from being branded as the main cause of the debacle.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said though all knew what the result at Puthuppally would be, this drubbing was not expected as theruling Left ruledsix of the eight village councils in Puthuppally.
“The sooner the CPI(M) realizes that the once invincible Vijayan is cracking, the better it’s for the CPI(M). One reason why he has started
to lose the confidence of the people is the way he has been staying away from public glare as it’s seven months since he has met the media, nor has he answered the multitude of allegations that have surfaced about him and his family,” said the critic.
State Congress president K.Sudhakaran said the result at Puthuppally is the beginning of the end of the Left in Kerala.
“The narrative that in Puthuppally we got the vote of the BJP is humbug. Our candidate received votes from people working in various political
parties, including the CPI(M). The CPI(M) vote share has gone down drastically. Things no longer augur well for the CPI(M),” said Sudhakaran.
Veteran Congress legislator Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who marshalled the Congress for the by-election, said 10 per cent of the votes that Chandy got came from the CPI(M).
At the moment the Congress appears in a buoyant mood but the unpredictable nature of their top brass seems to be troubling the party men.
Unlike the CPI(M), where none ever makes a public statement, in the Congress there is hardly anyone who remains quiet and all eyes are on the present leadership of the party handling the newest CWC member Shashi Tharoor.
Tharoor is certainly being looked up as a challenge to the present leadership of the party here and if things get sorted out and fall in order, then the CPI(M) will find the going tough.