CPM meeting blames poll debacle on anti-incumbency sentiment against LDF govt

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Kochi: A preliminary assessment by the CPM Ernakulam District Committee has attributed its recent drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls to a strong anti-incumbency public sentiment against the LDF government.

The meeting, convened to prepare a report for the CPM state committee’s discussion on the Lok Sabha polls, primarily reflected dejection over the massive loss in Ernakulam. While LDF candidates in Chalakkudy and Kottayam seats, C Raveendranath and Thomas Chazhikadan, put up decent performances, those in Ernakulam and Idukki seats fared miserably, according to attendees.

The discussion centred on votes polled in different segments, with arguments both for and against the candidate fielded in Ernakulam. Some believed that despite being a new face, the candidate staged a good performance. Others argued that the performance could have been much better with a more well-known candidate.

None of the members objected to the argument that the failure was driven by growing anti-incumbency sentiment. However, they refrained from placing the blame squarely on the Chief Minister alone. They, at the same time, demand a correction in how the CM handled the media.

The failure to disburse welfare pensions created a negative sentiment among ordinary people. Analysis of the poll data showed that the UDF received an additional 8,000 votes in Ernakulam, with the winning margin exceeding 2.5 lakhs.

The LDF, on the other hand, received the lowest number of votes in its history, suggesting a leakage in votes that the party traditionally received and was expected to receive this time. Voters dissatisfied with the LDF government either switched to the rival or abstained from voting, a trend that needs thorough examination. The biggest leakage was reported from the Muslim community, influenced by the national political scenario. Vote leakage from the Ezhava community should also be critically examined, while the party has historically not gained much from the Christian community.

Members also raised concerns over the narrowing vote margin between the LDF and the BJP in the Ernakulam assembly segment to just 2,000. The District Committee is set to prepare a comprehensive report detailing voting statistics at the assembly segment level, along with its preliminary assessment of voting patterns, and submit it to the state committee. The state committee will discuss this report in detail.

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