Dissidents pose a challenge to poll campaigns of parties

Support enjoyed by disgruntled local leaders a concern for fronts

The passive electioneering by a few disgruntled local leaders who are unhappy with the official candidates has emerged as an unexpected challenge for leading election campaigners in some of the rural Assembly constituencies in Kozhikode district. Even after several rounds of conciliatory talks by the official leadership, the dissidents within the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) continue to pose a threat to poll campaigns, and may even silently campaign for rival fronts.

For the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the threat is serious in the Koduvally Assembly constituency, where a senior party leader is reportedly unhappy with the official candidate. The withdrawal of the leader from active campaigning has upset many active IUML workers and the district leadership of the party.

“The main concern for the district leadership is the big local support for such disgruntled leaders, who are mighty enough to influence the vibrancy of united electioneering,” said an IUML campaigner from Koduvally. Afraid of open protests and demonstrations, the official leadership was reluctant to take disciplinary action against such leaders or to keep them out of campaign activities, he added.

Poster wars

In Thiruvambady, disagreements over selected candidates have become a headache for both the UDF and the LDF. Several posters echoing local sentiments continue to be a concern for senior leaders. The disgruntled leaders have remained silent about the protests by their supporters against the official leadership.

In Balussery, many local UDF leaders are keeping out of active electioneering due to their disagreement over the official candidate. Though the district leadership has claimed that there are no threats to upset the smooth campaign, the absence of influential local leaders in electioneering points to internal rows. The case is not any different in Elathur, where senior Congress leaders are part of the local protests against the official candidate.

As a quick solution, both LDF and UDF campaigners are planning to introduce some star campaigners to patch things up.

According to sources, prominent national leaders are likely to take part in several constituency-level campaigns.

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