Kerala Local Body Election 2020 Date: Three-phase polling between 8 and 14 Dec; counting on 16 Dec
Adhering to COVID-19 protocols, a total of 88,26,620 electors, including 46,68,209 women and 70 transgenders, would exercise their franchise in 11,225 polling stations in the first phase, State Election Commission officials said
Kerala local body polls will be conducted by the Kerala State Election Commission in three phases this month: The first phase of voting is tomorrow (Tuesday, 8 December), the second phase in on 10 December, while the third and final phase is on 14 December.
Votes will be counted on 16 December.
According to a report in Indian Express, local body polls in the southern state were originally scheduled for October after the tenure of the elected representatives was to end on 12 November. The new elected members were to administer oath before that date.
However, the polls were delayed due to surge in COVID-19 cases in the state in August and September. After consulting heads of all the political parties and health department, the state election commission decided to defer the polls till December.
In the first phase of polling tomorrow, voters from five districts of Kerala — Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki — will exercise their franchise.
The second phase of polling on 10 December will see voters from Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts head to the polls.
The final phase on 14 December will see voting in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts in northern Kerala.
As per NDTV, Kerala has reserved 50 percent seats in local body polls for women.
Political parties and traditional fronts have expressed sky-high confidence of garnering maximum number of seats in the crucial polls considered the semi-final ahead of the Assembly elections due next year.
Adhering to COVID-19 protocols, a total of 88,26,620 electors, including 46,68,209 women and 70 transgenders, would exercise their franchise in 11,225 polling stations in the first phase, State Election Commission (SEC) officials said.
The ruling CP(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF)'s prime focus during the campaign was the achievements under the four-and-half-year old Pinarayi Vijayan government.
Effective disbursal of social welfare pensions, steps taken to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and implementation of various programmes through the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Board (KIIFB) and hi-tech school project were among the various initiatives touted as the achievements of the Left government during the campaign.
LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan said the ruling front was facing the civic polls with confidence and the recent controversies against the government had not dented its image.
The remarkable contributions of the Left government in agriculture, education, health and social welfare and its effective intervention during the time of COVID-19 and floods would help the ruling front win maximum seats, he said.
The Opposition Congress-led UDF focused on the controversies related to the gold smuggling case, the alleged corruption regarding the Life Mission project and the allegations against the Chief Minister's Office in the campaign.
They also raised during the grassroot level campaign the arrest and imprisonment of CP(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son Bineesh in a money laundering and drug case in Bengaluru and the unexpected stepping aside of Balakrishnan as the party state secretary at the threshold of the civic polls.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president, Mullappally Ramachandran has said the UDF is facing the civic polls with the slogan ''a vote against corruption''.
He said the Left government's multi-level corruption had been exposed and the ruling front was facing stiff opposition from the general public and it would reflect in the civic body polls.
However, the vigilance cases against various UDF leaders and the arrest of its MLAs V K Ibrahim Kunju and M C Kamaruddin in corruption cases were a setback for them while campaigning.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is trying all means to find a place in the bipolar polity led by LDF and UDF for decades, is pinning hopes on various development programmes initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
The present polls are seen as a prestige battle for the saffron party and its leadership as they will be looking to repeat their impressive performance in various districts last time.
With inputs from PTI
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