Thiruvananthapuram: The Opposition Congress led UDF, which had dealt a massive blow to the ruling LDF in the Lok Sabha polls, said on Saturday that the October 21 bypolls to be held in five constituencies in Kerala would be a referendum on the "misrule" of the LDF government.
Besides the five constituencies, bypoll results in Pala would also favour the UDF and it would hit a "sixer", the Congress said.
The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF, the UDF and the BJP led NDA are gearing up for another round of high-voltage campaign with the election commission on Saturday announcing the bypolls.
Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala told mediapersons that the UDF would make a massive headway in all the constituencies as the people were fed up with the LDF government's "misrule".
"People are fed up with the LDF government's misrule, corruption, nepotism and anti-people policies. This will reflect in the bypolls and there will be a strong backlash against the government," Chennithala said.
State Congress chief Mullappally Ramachandran said the Congress-led Front would "hit a sixer" during the bypolls. CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishanan said the ruling LDF was ready to face the bypolls.
The CPI(M) state secretariat and the LDF meet would take place on September 24. "LDF is ready for the bypolls. The party has started the campaign from the grassroots level," he said.
For the ruling LDF and the opposition UDF, the bypolls are crucial as it is being held shortly after the April 23 Lok Sabha polls, which witnessed the ruling front receiving a massive drubbing.
The UDF had won 19 of the 20 seats, while the LDF could claim only a single seat.
The bypoll is being held on September 23 in the prestigious Pala constituency in Kottayam district, where the LDF and UDF had put up a stiff battle during the campaign, leveling various charges against each other.
The constituencies of Vattiyoorkavu in Thiruvananthapuram district, Konni in Pathanamthitta district, Aroor in Alappuzha disrict and Ernakulam and Manjeswaram in Kasaragod district will be going to the polling booths on October 21.
While the bypoll to Manjeswaram in Kasaragod district was necessitated due to the death of MLA P B Abdul Razak of the Indian Union Muslim League, in the other constituencies the sitting legislators had resigned to contest in the Lok Sabha polls in April this year.
Sitting Congress MLAs from Vattiyoorkavu, Ernakulam, Konni-- K Muraleedharan, Hibi Eden and Adoor Prakash and CPI(M)'s A M Arif had resigned after they were elected to the
Besides, the bypolls in the five constituencies, by-election is being held in Pala in Kottayam district on Sept 23, which was necessitated following the death of KM Mani.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a major ally of the UDF in the state, said the Front was all set to face the bypoll. "UDF is all set to face the by-election. In Manjeswaram, we have begun the campaigning activities.
BJP's lack of confidence has delayed the bypoll in Manjeswaram," IUML leader PK Kunjalikutty said. Meanwhile BJP state chief P S Sreedharan Pillai expressed hope that the National Democratic Front (NDA) led by the BJP will gain more seats in the state.
"The party has been preparing for this bypoll for long. We have had talks at all levels of the party and the Front. The candidates will be good enough to win the seats," Pillai told media.
Bypolls to 64 assembly seats and one Lok Sabha constituency spread across 18 states will be held on October 21 and the counting of votes will be on October 24, the Election Commission announced on Saturday.