Kollam: Even though opinion polls suggest the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is set to win most of the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, the party doesn't want to lower its guard as the campaigning enters the final stretch. The party has employed poll observers in all 20 constituencies in the state to ensure that no party leader or activist on the ground wilfully tone down their campaign after reports emerged that in a few parts of the state the party machinery is not active.
Party observers will have their own teams to keep vigil over campaigning. Their main job is to report anyone who might stay away from campaigns or take them lightly. Their information will be carried forward to high command through a war room set up by the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) in New Delhi.
The team can observe members even at booth levels. It will report those who abstain from squad work and fail to get campaign materials to destinations allotted. Even those constituencies and booths that did well last time will be under the scanner.
Recently, it was reported that Congress candidate Shashi Tharoor was upset with the inaction on the part of party activists to campaign in his constituency, Thiruvananthapuram, where he is engaged in a close contest with both BJP and CPM candidates. Similar reports came from Vadakara constituency too.
Warm welcome to Behanan
Meanwhile, Benny Behanan, who is the UDF candidate for the Chalakkudy Lok Sabha constituency sprang back into action after a short medical leave. He will attend campaign events after a gap of nearly two weeks following a heart ailment.
Congress leader Benny returned to the poll trail on Sunday at an event in Puthenkurish along with veteran leader AK Antony.
Congress MLAs Anwar Sadath, Eldhose Kunnappilly, Rogi M John and VP Sajeendran had led the campaign in his absence. The UDF hopes Benny’s return will energise the cadre again.
Benny received a warm and emotional welcome from workers at Puthenkurish. They celebrated his return with crackers and sparklers. KSU and Youth Congress workers mobbed Benny and wife Shirley as they got off their car.