An analysis of the results of the recently-held local body elections in Kerala show that councils in 22 local bodies in the state will have no opposition members, paving the way for a unilateral model of governance and decision-making in these bodies.
Of the 22 local bodies, 19 will have councils composed entirely of members of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), The Indian Express found. Apart from the CPM, the front includes parties like the CPI, KC(M), LJD, JD(S), NCP to name a few.
Two local bodies will have councils dominated entirely by members of Twenty20, an apolitical outfit backed by the Kitex Group, a garment manufacturing firm. One local body will have its council made up entirely of the Congress-led UDF members.
Results show that the LDF were elected in all wards of 13 gram panchayats, five block panchayats and one municipality. A majority of these bodies are located in rural Kannur, the fort of the CPI(M) and the home district of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. In fact, Pinarayi, the panchayat in which the chief minister’s home is located, was swept completely by the LDF in the election.
The panchayats which saw an LDF sweep are Bedadka and Kayyur-Cheemeni in Kasaragod district, Cheruthazham, Chittariparambu, Ezhome, Kadirur, Kalliassery, Kankole-Alapadambu, Kannapuram, Karivellur-Peralam, Panniyannur and Pinarayi in Kannur district and Kadakkal in Kannur district. The block panchayats are Panoor and Thalassery in Kannur district, Alathur and Ottapalam in Palakkad district and Chowannur in Thrissur district. In Anthoor municipality too, the council will consist entirely of LDF councillors.
Vengara block panchayat in Malappuram district is the only local body where the UDF, particularly its constituent IUML, wields complete sway. The region is the stronghold of IUML national general secretary PK Kunhalikutty.
The Twenty20, which tasted electoral success for the first time in Kizhakkambalam panchayat in 2015, has been successful in expanding its footprint to three more panchayats this time. The outfit, which challenged mainstream fronts like LDF, UDF and NDA in this election, was elected in all wards of the Kizhakkambalam and Aikkaranadu panchayats in Ernakulam district, rendering these councils devoid of any opposition.