Kizhakkambalam Twenty20 has proven to be a formidable opponent to traditional political groups as the non-political movement has spread across to other Panchayats as well in the latest local polls. This growth is despite the difficulties they have faced during polling and campaigning.
The non-political group has spread their ideas to the nearby areas. They have decimated their opponents in Aikkaranadu, winning all 14 seats, and returning to power in Kizhakkambalam by winning 18 seats. They lost one seat to an independent candidate, interestingly pointing to the fact that traditional political teams didn’t stand a chance in Kizhakkambalam as well.
This is not to say that Twenty20’s growth had been stagnant. Political experts say that the group replaced the traditional political landscape and proved that one didn’t need political parties to satisfy the people’s political needs. In this election, Twenty20 took the Kizhakkambalam model to Kunnathunadu, Aikkaranadu, Mazhuvanoor, and Vengola panchayats. They won an easy majority in Mazhuvanoor — winning 13 out of 19 seats — and in Kunnathunadu — winning 11 out of 18 seats. In Vengola, they won 6 out of 20 seats, which is still not a small feat since most of these have been under the local political groups for decades.
The group has also penetrated the District Panchayat segment, winning from Kolancherry — Umamaheshwari won with over 6,000 votes — and Vengola — Nasar PM enjoyed a similar lead. The group leadership believes that their victory is the direct result of the hard work they put into their Panchayat and that the people of other locations have accepted it as well. They opine that others are seeing the benefit of Twenty20 over the other traditional political outfits.
Meanwhile, V4Kochi, another alternative political group, has also become a major threat to the incumbents and challengers. These relatively fresh faces were even able to outset another candidate’s victories as well as even emerge second in many wards pushing behind veteran candidates.