Kerala’s 3-phased local body election from December 8

The Kerala Election Commission on Friday announced dates for local body elections, considered as the semi-final before the assembly elections which are due in six months.

Commissioner V Bhaskaran said elections will be held in three phases between December 8 and 14. The results will be announced on December 16. He said people who are infected with Covid-19 and quarantined can exercise their franchise through postal voting. Similarly, voting hours will be extended to two hours, 6 am to 6 pm.

In the first phase on December 4, polling will be held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts and second phase on December 10 will cover Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts. The last phase on December 14 will cover four northern districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Karasagod.

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The main fight is between CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front and Congress-controlled United Democratic Front but the BJP-led National Development Front will pose serious challenge in certain pockets, last few election statistics show. All three formations claimed advantage for them.

Usually, Left parties perform well in local body elections but this time situation is not rosy for them as the government is mired in several controversies. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former secretary M Sivasankar is in jail in connection with gold smuggling case and CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh Kodiyeri is in Bengaluru jail in connection with money laundering related to narcotics drug haul.

“Neck-deep in corruption, people will show the Left its place,” said state Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran. But the Left front said voters will give a befitting reply to a malicious campaign unleashed by the Congress and BJP.

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