UDF plans a last-hour surge against a confident LDF

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BJP is pushing hard with an eye on second slot

Congress men are often mocked at for their lethargy. They are yet to shed it completely even when the campaign is set to enter its final phase.

“We will be at full throttle in the last days before the polling.” This has been the response from Congress camps in the Palakkad Lok Sabha constituency, though they acquiesce in the allegation of being lethargic.

The fight is clearly triangular here. Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate M.B. Rajesh and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate C. Krishnakumar are doing their best to cash in on the weaknesses of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

No worries here

But UDF candidate V.K. Sreekantan is nonchalant. “This is our chance. People are convinced of the importance of voting the Congress back to power. And we will win this election,” he says.

Mr. Sreekantan has completed two rounds of canvassing, covering villages, towns, streets, families, and individuals. He has been a tad slower than his opponents in canvassing. He has been criticised for spending more time with the voters during electioneering, leading to delays and upsets in the campaign schedule.

Mr. Rajesh is confident that he has an edge. With the LDF’s well-oiled machinery working round the clock at various levels, including booth level, his prospects look bright in Palakkad.

He is approaching the electorate by brandishing his progress report, which makes tall claims quite convincingly.

Additionally, and yet primarily, he tells voters the importance of re-electing the LDF to depose Narendra Modi from power at the Centre.

First two rounds

Mr. Rajesh too has completed two rounds of campaigning. Electioneering through the State’s hottest areas is done with extreme care and plan.

When the midday hours are spared for rest and brainstorming, the morning and afternoon hours are used to accost the voters, both collectively and individually.

With eight more days of campaigning to go, evening public meetings have become a daily affair.

Though it boasts that it will win, the BJP is pushing itself hard to compete for the second position.

A bright spot

The fact that Palakkad is the only municipality in the State where the BJP is in power gives its candidate Mr. Krishnakumar an extra dose of energy to give a fight.

The BJP’s visibility has peaked like never before. Blessed and emboldened by the party’s status at the national level, the BJP is giving glitter and glamour to its campaign, and making all efforts to cash in on the religious sentiments of the people. Only the ballot can say if the Sabarimala issue will prove to be their trump.

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