KOCHI: The heavy poll percentage in the Piravom bypoll could be attributed to the political significance and the high-voltage campaigning featuring political bigwigs.
The election was crucial for the UDF government, which is surviving with a slender majority of 71 seats in the Assembly. The LDF with 67 members saw the election as an opportunity to upset the ruling UDF applecart.
“It is the political importance of the election that has led to this heavy polling. The people want the government to continue in power,” DCC president V J Paulose said. Even those who had stayed indoors in the last elections, came out to exercise their franchise on Saturday, he said.
The CPM also has a similar view. District secretary M V Govindan said that the people had come out to vote in large numbers as they wanted to show that they are upset with the government. “The people are fed up with the nine-month-old government and the voters have come en masse to show their protest,” he said.
The LDF and the UDF echoed that the presence of a bunch of top leaders had given an impetus to the campaign, which also led to the high polling percentage. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his entire cabinet along with the UDF allies were in the constituency for weeks together. Moreover, the UDF could rope in union ministers A K Antony, Vayalar Ravi and K V Thomas. Whereas, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan had led the LDF campaign. CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had also been camping for more than a week and was directly monitoring the proceedings. Other LDF partners were all seen canvassing for weeks together.