CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Thiruvananthapuram l thursday l December 17, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l LATE city EDITION 6 207 municipalities 3 LDF UDF NDA 1 0 Hung 2 Thrissur & Kochi yet to be decided though LDF has edge 120 414 86 59 1,167 27 DIVISIONS dist panchayats 35 45 LDF UDF 2 oth 4 NDA 1,173 3,078 14 block panchayats 10 LDF 4 UDF 0 oth 0 NDA 152 110 320 212 416 WARDS 331 2 1,267 6 DIVISIONS 108 LDF UDF 0 oth 0 44 NDA 727 2,080 DIVISIONS What worked For LDF GRAMa panchayats 37 941 7,263 49 LDF UDF 23 oth 29 375 514 NDA 5,893 15,962 1,182 1,619 WARDS Better selection of candidates; most of them fresh faces 1 Source: State Election Commission corporations Alliance with Jose K Mani’s KC (M) helped, mainly in Kottayam, and also in Idukki and Pathanamthitta 2 nothing left to say CPM-led Left front wins most seats in local body elections KC(M) Jose faction puts up fine show, helps Left in central Kerala THE Left Front has passed the local body election test with flying colours. The gold smuggling case, corruption charges and money laundering allegations had pushed the ruling front to the brink and given the impression that it would find it tough to get its act together. But the CPM-led front continued its love affair with the local body polls, boosting its morale ahead of the assembly polls. “It’s people’s victory,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who was under pressure going into the elections. While the opposition UDF failed to achieve a desired result and would rue the fact that it failed to capitalising on the political situation, the BJP could not make the kind of impact it was hoping to make. Jose K Mani — and his Kerala Congress (M) faction — emerged as the darkhorse, making big inroads in the central districts and helping the Left Front, which it had joined only recently, win big in the traditional UDF bastions. The Left won 10 out of the 14 district panchayats and three of the six corporations. While the Left retained Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kozhikode corporations, it emerged as the single largest front in Kochi. The UDF regained Thrissur and retained Kannur. The capital city, where a BJP upsurge was widely predicted, chose to stand with the Left. The biggest relief for the UDF came from the results in municipalities. It won 45 of the total 86 while the Left had to contend with 35, with the NDA winning two. In the 152 block panchayats, the Left Front emerged victorious in 108 and the UDF in 44. Among grama panchayats, the Left won 514 while 375 went to UDF and 23 to NDA. In the runup to the election, the Left chose to highlight its development work and welfare schemes, but in hindsight, the political alliances it made with LJD and Kerala Congress (M) Jose K Mani faction clinched the deal. Jose lent credence to the CPM view that the KC(M) could indeed ensure a comfortable win in central Travancore. The LDF win in Pala municipality underscored the same. On the flipside, the UDF seems to have overplayed the corruption angle while its “understanding and adjustments” with the Jama’at-e-Islami’s political front Welfare Party did not yield the desired results. It only led to a major confusion within the Congress while the Left projected it as a communal alliance. The BJP has increased its vote share and number of seats overall, but it remains to be seen how the dissidents will use the NDA’s performance while mounting a fresh challenge on state president K Surendran. The coming assembly poll is a different ball game, but the local body poll success should rekindle the Left Front’s hopes of retaining power in 2021. Hopes dashed, BJP stares at a below-par return Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister The verdict won’t affect the foundation of Congress in anyway. The UDF performance has definitely been encouraging. Ramesh Chennithala, Opposition leader Four wins give wings to T20’s assembly dreams Did Welfare Party tie-up harm Cong’s core voters? We’re enthused by the results despite the CPM and Congress ganging up to deny our rightful chance to rule Trivandrum Corporation. BJP has been able to increase its tally. For a party that dreamed of its own mayor in the state capital, BJP had to be content with marginal rise in its fortunes this time despite the unprecedented amount of money and manpower it pumped in. P4 Elated by its win in four grama panchayats after defeating both LDF and UDF, Kitex-backed Twenty20 has announced its decision to contest the upcoming assembly polls in a major way. P6 The UDF’s controversial political tieup with the Welfare Party appears to have aided the Congress-led front in some places. But it remains to be seen how it has led to erosion of traditional UDF votes. P6 K Surendran, BJP state president INSIDE After win, left must focus on better governance I P4 New CJs for Madras, J&K and Gauhati HCs Dominant victory for Left, boost for Pinarayi T’Puram: The LDF’s spectacular victory is seen as a testament to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s pragmatic politics. With the win, he has also emerged stronger in the party and remains an unquestionable leader within the Left. Thanks to his strong leadership, the Left front and the government have emerged a unified force, writes Anil S. P5 In Congress, blame of loss may fall on Ramesh Chennithala I P5 T ra n sf e r of j u d g e s Name High Court from High Court to Sanjay Yadav Madhya Pradesh Allahabad Rajesh Bindal J&K Calcutta Vineet Kothar Madras Gujarat Joymalya Bagchi Calcutta Andhra Pradesh Satish Chandra Sharma Madhya Pradesh Karnataka 18 pages, including 4 pages of Thiruvananthapuram Express The strategy to field a large number of candidates as independents, who contested without the party symbol 5 And what didn’t For Udf LDF workers celebrate in front of the counting station at Koyilandy in Kozhikode on Wednesday | T P Sooraj Twenty20 INCREASES FOOTPRINT Twenty20, the non-political organisation promoted by garment manufacturer Kitex Group, retains Kizhakkambalam grama panchayat and wins the adjacent Aikkaranad, Kunnathunad and Mazhuvannur Shaun George, son of P C George, wins the Poonjar division of Kottayam district panchayat on Kerala Janapaksham ticket LDF loses PullurPeriya panchayat where two Youth Congress workers — Kripesh and Sarath Lal — were hacked to death in February 2019. Of the 17 wards, UDF won in nine and LDF in seven 24 years since it last ruled, the LDF wrests Puthuppally panchayat, also comprising former CM Oommen Chandy’s ward, from the UDF Left candidate Saheerabanu, 50, who on Tuesday succumbed to the injuries she had sustained in an accident a week ago, wins ward 15 of Thalakkad grama panchayat Zero vote for LDF’s O P Rasheed who replaced Karat Faisal as CPM’s official candidate in Koduvally Municipality. CPM withdrew support for Faisal after he customs quizzed him 100% success for the LDF in Anthur Municipality. While the CPM won in 27 seats, a CPI candidate romped home in the remaining seat New members of local bodies to be sworn in on Monday Relentless campaign on LDF’s “gold smuggling scandal” and corruption 1 Candidate selection, especially going with old and familiar faces 2 Disunity among top Congress leaders on various issues, which gave out confusing signals to the electorate 3 Tie-up with Welfare Party sent out a wrong message 4 For BJP Constant bickering and disunity among top leaders 1 Inability to present itself as a credible, winnable alternative and turn support base into votes 2 Failed to capitalise on investigation against the Chief Minister’s Office. If any, it helped the CM and the government earn sympathy 3 4 Sabarimala no longer an election issue two-fold task ahead for state BJP president K Surendran I P5 SC panel in the works to seek stir’s solution E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Supreme Court collegium’s decision to shake-up the higher judiciary as reported in these columns, including the trans, fers of chief justices of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, was formally uploaded in its website on Wednesday . In all, 14 judicial officers were part of the recommended shuffle: promotion of five judges as chief justices; transfer of four chief justices to various high courts; and transfer of five judges. Apart from the elevation of Justice Dr S Muralidhar as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and Delhi High Court judge Hima Kohli as Chief Justice of Telangana High Court, the collegium approved proposals to promote Calcutta High Court judge Sanjib Banerjee as Chief Justice of Madras High Court, Allahabad High Court judge Pankaj Mithal as Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand High Court judge Sudhanshu Dhulia as Gauhati High Court Chief Justice. T ra n sf e r of C hi e f J u stic e s Name High Court from High Court to R S Chauhan Telangana Uttarakhand J K Maheshwari Andhra Pradesh Sikkim Mohammad Rafiq Orissa Madhya Pradesh A K Goswami Sikkim Andhra Pradesh Sudhanshu Dhulia Uttarakhand Gauhati Could convince the voters about the “communal pampering” by UDF, especially the latter’s tie-up with Jamaat-e-Islami’s political front Welfare Party celebrations flout protocol, health dept fears covid spike I P7 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi P ro m otio n s Name of judge Present HC HC where appointed as CJ Dr S Muralidhar Punjab & Haryana Orissa Hima Kohli Delhi Telangana Sanjib Banerjee Calcutta Madras Pankaj Mithal Allahabad Jammu & Kashmir Sudhanshu Dhulia Uttarakhand Gauhati Free food kits were a hit with the people 4 Cong fails to capitalise on the political situation, BJP off-colour E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram The defamatory campaigns against the government had no parallels. Central agencies were misused and the campaigns had the support of a section of the right-wing media. They wished to sabotage people’s choice. But Kerala has a peculiar culture, the people are prudent enough to identify things. They did not fall for bad influences. I salute the voters 3 Farmers shout slogans against the new farm sector laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Wednesday | Shekhar Yadav With the deadlock persisting on the farmers’ protest against three contentious farm sector laws, the Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated its intention to set up a committee of all stakeholders to open talks, adding the issue could soon snowball into a national one if not quickly resolved. “This is what we propose to do tentatively. We will form a committee to resolve this dispute,” the bench told solicitor general Tushar Mehta while hearing three petitions related to the protests. “This panel will comprise members from BKU or any other farmer association that are Wary unions want to wait and watch Protesting farm unions on Wednesday reacted cautiously to the Supreme Court’s proposal to set up a committee to resolve the deadlock over the three contentious farm laws. Some said they will decide on the court’s suggestion only after receiving it in writing and taking legal advice. protesting, government representatives and other farmers groups,” the CJI said while issuing notice to the Centre on the three petitions. As per the order, eight farmer organisations have been included in the case: Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rakesh Tikait), BKU (Sidhupur), BKU (Rajew- al), BKU (Lakhowal), Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, BKU (Dakaunda), BKU (Doaba) and Kul Hind Kisan Federation. Mehta told the bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde that the government is keen on engaging with the farmers, but it can happen only when the other side is open to discuss the laws, clause by clause. Instead, “they come with just one demand of taking back the law,” Mehta rued. At this, CJI Bobde observed, “Your negotiations have not worked apparently.” Mehta claimed the agitation had been taken over by vested interests. “Whenever they came to meet our ministers, they carried placards with ‘yes’ and ‘no’,” he said. Chinese firms to be blacklisted? India to name ‘trusted’ telecom sources E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi After taking a slew of steps against Chinese mobile apps, India will soon come out with a list of ‘trusted sources’, only from whom telecom equipment can be purchased by service providers. Senior officials said the move is aimed at building indigenous capacity in the manufacturing of the telecom equipment, and cut down on the de pendency on imports. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday decided that a panel headed by the deputy national security advisor will prepare the ‘trusted sources’ list, which seeks to secure I n d i a ’s c o m m u n i c a t i o n network. The panel will also prepare a ‘negative list’ of companies, whose products will not be allowed in the country. The black list is likely to contain Chinese firms. The National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector, cleared by the CCA, directs all service providers to mandatorily source equipment from “trusted sources”. However, it will not affect equipment that have already been deployed. “The CCS has approved the directive in line with the needs of the national security, and accordingly the National Security Directive on Telecommunication Sector has been given the nod,” said Union law and telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The panel will consist of members from relevant departments, ministries, besides two from the industry and also independent experts. Central go-ahead for next round of spectrum sale The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal for the auction of 2,251.25 megahertz of spectrum worth I3.92 lakh crore. The sale will be held in March 2021 | P12
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17-12-2020 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram