Local body polls: All eyes on Elamkulam

Being the home turf of outgoing Mayor Soumini Jain, the division  has emerged as a high-stakes battleground

Published: 01st December 2020 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2020 04:10 PM   |  A+A-

Outgoing Mayor Soumini Jain in conversation with Antony Painuthara and Poornima Narayan. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

Outgoing Mayor Soumini Jain in conversation with Antony Painuthara and Poornima Narayan. (Photo | Albin Mathew, EPS)

Express News Service

KOCHI: With campaigning in the run-up to the local body polls gathering full steam, Elamkulam division of the Kochi Corporation has become the most keenly watched battleground owing to a reason. The two major political parties brainstormed for over a week to identify their candidates for the division. Outgoing Mayor Soumini Jain was elected to the council from Elamkulam with a margin of just 94 votes in the last election.

Considering the prestigious nature of the division, both LDF and UDF have fielded two prominent sitting councillors. While the Left front has fielded Poornima Narayan, who has proved her mettle in the last council, UDF has nominated Antony Painuthura who is speculated to emerge as a surprise mayoral candidate if UDF retains power. For UDF, the result will also be a performance assessment of the outgoing Mayor Soumini Jain as a councillor. 

“Elamkulam is perhaps one of the ‘hot’ divisions in comparison to others. However, I am confident of winning the battle. Though it is a challenging task to contest against sitting councillors, developmental projects carried out during 2015-20 under Soumini Jain will prove to be an advantage. Though construction of the park at Kudumby Colony was about to be completed, some CPI workers raised their protest against it,” said Antony.

Although the controversial Padmasarovam project has become a major talking point for the LDF against the rival coalition, the development projects carried out under Soumini Jain may prove a clincher. “Contesting from Elamkulam is indeed a big challenge. However, I also consider it as an honour that the party has decided to field me in such a crucial division. The mayor’s performance will be evaluated by voters. At the same time, my performance as the councillor of Gandhi Nagar division will also be scrutinised and that will prove to be an advantage for me.

I am confident as I am getting positive signals from the public,” said Poornima.According to her, waterlogging and the issues pertaining to Kudumby Colony are major points of contention. “Even though some projects have been implemented, the mayor failed to prioritise important issues. This will be sorted when we come to power,” added Poornima. 

Awaiting judgment day

UDF

Strengths
Developmental projects under outgoing councillor Soumini Jain
Fund utilisation
Challenges
Controversy over Padmasarovaram project
Lack of presence of the mayor in the division 
Presence of new outfit

LDF

Strengths
UDF’s failure to address waterlogging issues
Not a UDF bastion
Challenges
Party’s decision to choose a woman councillor for a general seat
Development projects under the outgoing mayor in the division
Presence of newly formed outfit

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