Thiruvananthapuram | Counting of votes for the civic polls held on November 2 and 5 in Kerala will be taken up tomorrow amid tight security in different centres across the state and the results are expected by the evening.
The election outcome is significant as it would indicate the political trend of the state, where the assembly poll is scheduled to be held in mid-2016. The main contestants congress-led ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), Coomunist Party of India Marxist CPI(M) headed Left Democratic Front (LDF) Opposition and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) fought the polls keenly to six corporations, 86 municipalities, 941 gram panchayats, 152 block panchayats and 14 district panchayats.
A total of 75,549 candidates contested 21,905 wards. Local issues, slew of corruption charges such as bar bribery, solar scam along with the beef controversy and issue of intolerance were some of the main campaign issues.
The results also would test the new non-political ‘electoral experiment’ of a corporate house to field candidate in association with local people under the banner ‘Twenty-Twenty’ at Kozhanchery in Ernakulam district.
In the civic polls held in 2010, UDF came to power in Kochi and Thrissur Corporations and LDF in the prestigious Thiruvanthapuram, Kozhikode and Kollam.
BJP only managed to get nine corporation wards. The politically sensitive Kannur corporation in North Kerala is the new one that went to polls this time along with the existing five.
Of the 59 municipalities that went to polls in 2010, UDF won in 39 and LDF in the remaining 20. As per municipality ward results, UDF won in 1097 wards, LDF in 803 and BJP in 79.
With regard to gram panchayats, UDF bagged 582, LDF 384 and the BJP got four. The results are also keenly being watched as it would show whether BJP’s move to break the bipolar polity in the state, led by Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led LDF, by securing the support of Ezhava outfit Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) succeeded or not.
A confident Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had maintained during campaigning that the civic polls would be a referendum of the four and half year rule of UDF government and a verdict for continuation of the Front in power.
LDF, which suffered setbacks in the recent Aruvikkara bypoll, had attacked the government by highlighting corruption issues and also the alleged communal agenda of BJP.
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