The election is quite significant compared to that of previous years for more than one reason

Kerala local body poll results has major implications for LDF UDF and BJP
news Saturday, November 07, 2015 - 00:02

It was a keenly contested election, with three political fronts fighting hard for a spectacular victory. On Saturday, the fate of around 75,549 contestants in the Kerala local body poll will be known.

The elections that witnessed a high pitch battle between UDF, LDF and BJP, is believed to be a precursor to the assembly elections in 2016.

Elections were held for a total of six corporations, 59 municipalities, 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats and 14 district panchayats in 21, 905 wards spreading across 14 districts.

The election which was held in two phases on November 2 and November 5 is quite significant compared to that of previous years for more than one reason.

This is for the first time that the state has seen something different from a usual two- horse race between the Congress led UDF and LDF headed by the CPI (M). This could be very well be the first time that BJP emerges a significant third following the landslide victory in the parliamentary elections in 2014.

Chief minister Oommen Chandy has already stated that the results would be viewed as a testimony of how people rated his government.

Kerala saw intense campaigning by all sides, with even the CM and opposition leader VS Achutanandan visiting many wards.

The UDF campaign suffered as a vigilance court ordered a probe against  Finance Minister KM Mani in the bar bribe scandal.

The various corruption scandals in which ministers including Mani had been allegedly involved in had become the rallying point for the LDF

The UDF's image had received such a thrashing that many political pundits declared that the Left parties actually stood a chance of staging a comeback for the first time since 2006.

The violence unleashed by the Left in some districts and beef politics of the BJP too featured prominently in the campaign.

In the 2010 polls, the CPI(M) had captured 7001 wards, a significant decrease from the 8055 wards it had won in 2005. With leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan, VS Achutanandan and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan having lead the campaign, the LDF knows that a significant victory is needed to keep up the morale of the cadres.

It is an important fight for the BJP too, with party president Amit Shah having devoted significant time to find allies. The BJP had won a total of 450 wards in 2010- including 9 corporation wards, 79 municipal wards, 7 block panchayat wards and 384 gram panchayat wards. This was a steep climb for the BJP which had won just 236 wards in 2005.

The LDF had also won three city corporations out of the five. But UDF had 39 of the municipalities while the LDF had the rest 20.

In gram panchayats, the UDF had the upper hand winning 582 while the Left front won 384.  

Both the phases this time saw an overwhelming 75 percent turnout and no major incidents of violence were reported. While the first phase was disrupted due to heavy rainfall, the second phase witnessed cases of faulty EVMs.

For the UDF, the victory would mean endorsement, while for the LDF this would mean revival. But the party that will be most talked about will be the BJP as both other fronts do not want a saffron surge in Kerala.

 

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