Battle lines drawn for Assembly polls in Kerala

Thursday, Apr 7, 2016,15:12 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | With just a little over a month left for the Assembly polls in Kerala, the election scene is hotting up with Congress-led ruling UDF, CPI-M headed LDF and BJP alliance declaring their candidates and hitting the campaign trail.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the spearhead of UDF campaign along with KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, have been focussing on ‘development initiatives’ taken by the UDF regime in the past five years as seeks to retain power.

The opposition LDF has said its poll plank will be allegations of corruption against UDF government, especially charges related to solar and bar bribery scams and land assignment issues. BJP is approaching the voters by presenting itself as the ‘third alternative’ to UDF and LDF in the state.

Chandy and 18 of his cabinet colleagues eight from Congress and ten from other UDF constituents figure among those fielded for the May 16 elections. Only two members of Chandy Cabinet Aryadan Muhammed (Power) and C N Balakrishnan (Cooperation), both Congress, are not contesting this time.

Congress is contesting 83 of the 140 Assembly seats at stake in the state, leaving the rest to its partners. IUML, the second largest UDF partner, has been alloted 24 seats, followed by KC-M 15, JD-U seven, RSP five, KC-J two seats and CMP one seat.

The remaining three seats of Kanhangad, Kalliasseri and Payyannur, all in North Kerala, would be contested by UDF-backed independent candidates as per the agreement reached among the front partners. Congress hasseven women candidates, including Padmaja Venugopal, daughter of late Congress leader and former chief minister K Karunakaran.

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