Kochi: A day after Congress led UDF scrapped through to power in Kerala, the party on Saturday admitted that the margin was below expectations and would meet soon to discuss the reasons for it.
"The Congress and UDF front will meet soon to discuss various reasons for winning fewer seats this time, including whether there were shortcomings in candidate selection. There are many factors. Any election need not be a repeat of earlier performances. It is too early to draw any conclusions," KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala said at a meet-the-press.
He said a decision on who would be the next Chief Minister would be decided by the High Command and newly elected MLAs. The UDF won 72 of 140 assembly seats in the April 13 assembly elections, against the LDF's 68.
Chennithala conceded that Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan's campaign as an anti-corruption crusader did have some impact but said there was no 'VS' wave.
"The LDF government did not do much in its five year rule. But in the elections, Achuthanandan raised various allegations which to a certain extent affected UDF's prospects," he said.
'We completely accept the verdict and will ensure that we provide good governance to the people', he said.
Admitting it was a tough fight between rival fronts this time, he said UDF had expected to get around 80 to 100 seats, thinking it could do a repeat of the Parliament and Panchayat polls, where it had performed very well. He pointed out that the CPM led LDF had got only 68 seats this time, down from 100 in the 2006 assembly polls,which showed people's 'disinterest' in the front.
Chennithala said Congress was not calling into question the national importance of CPM and Left parties after their setbacks in Kerala and West Bengal, but only stating that wrong policies had isolated them from people in these two states.
On whether UDF partners would put pressure on the new government, he said it was not a question of pressure, but how various views are accommodated.
"Running a coalition is not a small thing. We have enough experience in running a coalition. This is a peculiar situation which has never happened before and we must be cautious', he said.
Asked if it would a 'crown of thorns' for UDF, Chennithala said the front viewed it as an opportunity to take on governance with more caution."There will be more cohesiveness. The 'lethargy' in the event of gaining absolute majority will not be there," he said.
The KPCC leader said UDF'S present majority was very small and the effort would be to ensure there are no controversies. As front leader, Congress will go ahead and rectify the mistakes. We promise a 'working government', he said.
To another query on strong and weak partners, in the light of the poor showing of Janadhipatiya Samrakshana Samithi and Communist Marxist Party, he said all UDF partners are strong and that they would take all of them along "There is no question of 'weak' or 'strong' partners, he said.
UDF partners JSS led by nonagenarian K R Gowri and CMP of M V Raghavan did not win any seats while Kerala Congress (Jacob) won one seat.