As per the numbers on November 19 night, over 1.68 lakh nominations have been filed for the local body polls in Kerala, said the office of the State Election Commission. The polls are scheduled to be held in three phases, on December 8, 10 and 14. These polls will be to elect officials in 1,199 local bodies, which include 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 86 municipalities and six corporations.
The Election Commission has shared that 1.23 lakh nominations were received at the gram panchayat level, 14,195 at the block panchayat level, 2,830 at the district panchayat level and 22,798 for the municipalities. 4,347 people have filed nominations for the six corporations in the state. As per the notification of the Election Commission, candidates had started to file nominations from November 12. The nominations will be scrutinized on Friday. The last date to withdraw the nomination is November 23.
The total electorate currently stands at 2,71,20,823 people, which includes 1,29,25,766 males, 1,41,94,825 females and 232 transgender persons.
Initially, the local body polls were set to be held by October. However, as the COVID-19 situation in Kerala became more serious, the elections were delayed after discussions among political parties in Kerala. As per the directions earlier given by the Election Commission of the state, strict safety measures will be followed during the polls. Each polling booth will have a maximum of 800 voters, and polling time will be extended by an hour. An additional assistance of Rs 15 crore has been sought by the Election Commission in order to arrange for the COVID-19 preventive measures to be put in place.
Since earlier this month, local bodies of the state were placed under administrative rule to tackle the administrative standstill. The term of elected councils in the local bodies in the state, except Mattannur Municipality, came to an end on November 11. The Mattannur Municipality in Kannur district follows a different schedule as the council was elected there in 2017, while the term of others started in 2015.
(With inputs from IANS)